As a child, Christian Dior grew up on the flourishing garden grounds of Villa les Rhumbs in Granville, and the lavish flora and fauna of his childhood home could be felt in nearly every presentation he ever made. In the modern era of the Dior maison, Raf Simons continually honors the spirit of the brand not only with silhouette and styling, but with extravagant and breathtaking sets that regularly feature a tapestry of fresh florals. For Spring/Summer 2016, Simons steers away from the manicured gardens of previous seasons and embraces the beauty of an untarnished mountain meadow, with a hilly backdrop covered in 400,000 stalks of blue Delphinium flowers. With a collection that depicted sweetly scalloped edging across a variety of wafting, transparent garments and cropped knitwear, the presentation amounted to a tender homage to Dior signatures. It was beautiful enough to draw a tear to the eye, and intriguing enough to have already topped the charts of the season’s best collections.
Often topping the scalloped singlets and tiny shorts on Dior’s runway were newly updated ‘Bar’ jackets that were less rigidly tailored at the waist and decorated with knife-pleated pockets, while other versions showed rounded shoulders and bulky sleeves. Outerwear was emphasized for the season, but many of the looks were effervescent and wearable in even the hottest temperatures. Cut from diaphanous materials and sprouting floral appliqués, Dior’s loose, dreamy parkas were instantly covetable layering pieces. While the parade of sheer overlays made for a cool X-ray effect atop cropped underpinnings, there were heavier looks that balanced the floatier pieces, like boldly striped blazers and crisp polo-necked sheaths. Double-helix embroidery was inset with lace which danced diagonally across silk separates, while thick ribbed sweaters were shown in cropped lengths with sleeves shoved up over the elbows. Belted chokers bearing “1947” pendants added an erotic thrill to every look, and were the kind of must-have statement piece that put dollar signs in the eyes of Dior investors. Saleable, wearable, and sweet is the kind of combination that results in a collection that will be impossible to keep stocked come spring.