Raf Simons for Christian Dior ss13 pfw

Raf Simons’ first ready-to-wear collection at Dior had huge expectations. A lot of pressure on one show and the fash-pack were keen to feast upon the fruits of this designer’s hard work. The show presented over 50 looks with what I would argue included 5 sub-chapters. I try to avoid over referenced “style icons” like Audrey Hepburn, but oh my, she would have loved this collection.

The first phrase of the collection was demure. It was Dior. It was a French woman at her finest. There were clean lines, black with a splash of colour via a neat neck scarf, trouser suits and long blazers that were worn as mini-dresses were exquisitely tailored. The looks were unfussy and provocatively elegant. Underneath the literal pieces spoke of formal business attire for the modern, powerful woman who knows herself. 

 Phase two was a little confused. I felt I had seen the spirit of these looks before in Chanel’s spring summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection. The iridescence of the puff ball dresses didn’t evoke the same level of exclusive sophistication that the rest of the collection did. They were layered over shorts which was a seasonally appropriate continuation of the layering trend and suited the tailored aesthetic of the collection. Oversized pockets gave an element of laid back cool which was the redeeming feature to these mini puffball gowns. Further on were some more successful uses of tulle where it was layered in a sheer form over more fitted designs. A highlight was a white sleeveless blazer with a pink tulle layered skirt. There were thick horizontal striped dresses, that’s cut and shape were the only beautiful part. Jackets turned mini-dresses reigned in this phase too which if anything should be acknowledged and remembered come spring.
 Thirdly a momentous mix of classic Dior and modern Simon’s arose. Hemlines were dropped for a fifties silhouette in some cases, while colour blocking at its sleekest also featured. There were memorable dresses and long layers over tailored shorts continued from the previous chapter. It was in this third part that the execution got slightly more exciting! Patterns and designs were celebrated with of the moment laser cuts, print and artistic finishes. Some truly exquisite pieces were shown here that proved the fash-pack’s excitement to be worth it.
After such a burst of colour and playfulness Simons relived the theme of phase one however with a subtle experimentation of material, embellishment and differing shades found in each piece. The mini wasn’t the only length here although a strapless neckline featured prominently continuing the strong sense of elegance and femininity that reigned throughout the show.
Finally in act 5 came some good ol’ fifties inspired Dior, but alas! with a modern youthfulness that rings true when it’s from Raf Simons. Long sleeved black round neck tops finished with enormous full floral print skirts that were made current with a tulle overlay that gave a futuristic finish. Futuristic being the notable adjective in that description as I predict Raf Simons will have a successful future with Dior. 

The accessories really physicalize the impact that this designer has and will continue to have on one of the oldest most renowned fashion houses to date. Both the shoes and bags used in the show were simply Dior, but with a twist. The shoe suited not only the modern mini and strapless pieces but the more forgiving fifties inspired silhouettes too. A court, yes, but the thin curved inward heel accentuated the spirit of “2013 and beyond” that Simons seemed to project through this collection. The bags were all as clean cut and chic as the minimalist attitude of the clothes. Keeping classic shapes in suitable hues made for desirable designer clutches and handbags. 

This ready-to-wear collection was just that, wearable. It included nostalgia and a contemporary confidence that Raf Simons needed to present to his industry peers. Bar a few undesirable (very shiny) pieces the collection was demure, divine and Dior.


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