PFW S/S13: Dior

Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13 Christian Dior SS13 Christian Dior SS13 Christian Dior SS13 Christian Dior SS13 Christian Dior SS13 Christian Dior SS13 Christian Dior SS13 Christian Dior SS13 Christian Dior SS13
By Kristin Knox October 01, 2012
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior SS13
Christian Dior Ready to Wear by Raf Simmons. It's been a long time coming. Eighteen months long, in fact. This summer, Galliano's studio head and steward of the house Bill Gaytten relinquished the reigns Dior's creative direction when at long last the appointment was made and Raf Simmons stepped down from his tenure at Jil Sander to take up his new position at the helm of one of Paris' most beloved sartorial houses to turn out his small, yet exquisite couture line in July. While his floral-themed demure ladylike but nonetheless minimal looks gleaned approving nods from industry big wigs, it's the ready to wear collection that truly tests a designer's creative and commercial mettle. Re-cap an all the news from Paris Fashion Week here And so it was that Mr. Simmons continued in the same vein with which he began this summer, sticking to the theme of replanting one of fashion's most celebrated gardens, but in his own, quietly chic way. Today he updated the classicism of Christian Dior for 2012 (or Spring 2013, as the case may be) without delivering the over-the-top sartorial acrobatics of his wild predecessor, but without merely rehashing the same cutting edge mastery of minimalism that kept Jil Sander at the forefront of fashion's most cultish labels. It was evolution in its finest panache, what fashion with a capital "F" is truly about: constant reinvention and forward momentum without losing the DNA of what it's all about. It began with a new new look, so to speak. Fitted, sharply cut pantsuits in chic black with stain lapels, worn shirtless beneath and topped off with simple pointed pumps and a thick satin ribbon tied around the models' neck. Back to basics at its best. Renditions of the same varying in details followed, a slightly more rounded lapel here, a short version there, before giving way to elegant mini frocks and short white coat dresses that smacked of a Sander/Dior hybrid perfected. Little cocktail dresses in simple black crepe de chine, or blazers with slightly flared hips registered as instant classics, covetable for today, but keepable in your closet for the long haul. Colour worked its way into the collection in the form of waify iridescent pastels, wafts of tulle swept and bundled into ultra-mini little flower-like bulbs worn over little black shorts to preserve the models' baby doll-like modesty. In whispers of blush and subdued violet, the drape done in a way that the girls looked as though they had perhaps emerged from tangled in the swathes of pastel voile strewn up around the sleek white venue rather than slipping into something draped on a stand. It felt lightweight, and effortless, carefree yet exquisitely calculated all at once. Grey square cut three-button jackets or a white wraparound sleeves blazer were paired with skirts of the same whilst contrasting stripes of candy pink and black lightened the mood speaking straight to the heart of any younger lovers of Dior. For cocktail, Raf struggled, however, to relinquish his Sanderian ways, injecting vibrant pops of yellow, tangerine and fuchsia into long, draped asymmetrical colour blocked layers and a somewhat out of place was the odd laser cut tulip dress lined with neon yellow. It felt like a page out of an old lookbook from a time we thought we had said adieu to with a tear back in February. Full ballskirts of wallpaper floral printed satin bloomed elegantly down the runway, worn only with the sheerest and slimmest of lightweight black knits. “It is a conceptual approach I like, but it is not the only one I like" proclaimed Raf in the show notes, "Neither is it only one type of woman that I want to appeal to." When evening proper fell at show's end, the man made good on his word and posterity was banished to where it belonged, the past. Not that Raf's past is anything to snivel at, but taking command of a brand like Dior requires an innate unification of his aesthetic with the house's, and his closing looks proved that while he may not be 100% ready to let go, he is also not afraid to move forward.
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