A New Hope

July 3, 2012

*but seriously this is Star Wars epic status

Raf Simons channels Christian Dior's iconic NEW LOOK for his Dior debut

The drama concludes (or has it just begun?) today, as the highly-anticipated Christian Dior couture debut of Raf Simons is revealed. The bloggers are already going absolutely insane with either high praise or high disapproval, but this review is solely my two cents on Mr. Simons' new collection.

Set in an abandoned mansion with five salons walled with reportedly a million flowers, a tailored black tuxedo suit appears on the curving marble runway. From the first look it is apparent that this is not a Galliano show - but that's okay! Because isn't the point of getting a new designer to go in a new direction? Or maybe that's just me.

Peplums and pants are my favorite silhouettes from the show

The channeling of New Look silhouettes is obvious, but Simons does it in a fresh way. Perhaps my favorite looks were the peplum tops, the nipped waists with these exaggerated skirts, all over straight-leg pants. I think those did the best job of utilizing New Look styles while going in a modern direction. This makes me eager to try my own oversized peplum/pants combo.

Now, a common complaint among bloggers is that Raf Simons doesn't "get" couture, or that this show lacked the theatricality of Galliano's couture shows. These complaints are silly for several reasons.

Red Carpet Ready
On the first point, about Simons not understanding the idea of couture (and by that they mean the clothes aren't over-the-top enough) nowhere in the Couture Regulations does it state that couture clothes require a certain amount of beads per square inch or a minimum of 20 yards of fabric per dress. People should also know that most other couturiers aren't nearly as flamboyant as Galliano or Lagerfeld. Look at Bouchra Jarrar who, as told by Nicole Phelps of style.com, "has yet to put a single beaded ball gown on her runway". Couture is about something more than elaborate sets and theatrics - it's about telling a story through beautiful clothing, about showcasing old-style sewing and designing.

On the second point, the whacky sets and over-the-top productions are fun and amusing but can be distracting, and the setting of this show was frankly stunning - beautiful but not so overwhelming that the staging overshadows the clothes.

I think Simons did an excellent job with this first couture collection (and his first ever collection for Dior, which is even more pressure!) and yes, he played it a bit safe with his heritage-based looks, but they were exquisite and flawless in their constructions. People miss Galliano and the excitement, but frankly, the hype that surrounded this presentation made it the most anticipated Dior show in a long while. Raf Simons is not John Galliano, and I am so totally fine with that.

Be sure to check back for more Fall 2012 Couture reviews and let me know what you thought about Raf Simons' debut at Christian Dior!

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I love hearing your thoughts! Thanks for reading! ♥︎Lindsey