Saturday, 29 September 2012

PFW | DIOR Spring/Summer 2013 by Raf Simons


The austere elegance that was a hallmark of Raf Simons’s haute couture debut at the House of Dior, shown in Paris this July, could be sensed even before the first outfit from his first ready-to-wear for the House made its appearance. The audience was contained in a set clearly of Simons’ devising, with white-walled “rooms” with window openings that were veiled by drifts of very pale pastel organza curtaining. It was clean, refreshing, and had a certain modern poetry to it.

Enjoy the DIOR Spring/Summer 2013 fashion show at the end of this post! LoL, Andrea

Against this backdrop, Simons opened with a quartet of refined pantsuits the jackets’ full, bell-shaped peplum referencing the famous ensemble that Dior designed for his debut collection in spring 1947, and dubbed “Bar.” That fullness accentuated the lean pant. Flamboyance was contained to a satin organza scarf tied with a flourish at the neck, in Dior’s fetish tones of black, lipstick red, and rose pink.

The Bar jacket then appeared reworked as short little belling-skirted coatdresses in black or white or gray, their volume sometimes increased by the deft insertion of godets of sunray pleats, one of those Dior technical flourishes that Simons talked about backstage when he enthused about the excitement of being let loose with the legacy, and archives of the House. (Simons seems to have been drawn not only to the Bar silhouette, but also to Christian Dior’s emphatic A- and H-line collections).

He also played with the idea of the elaborate evening shorts that have swept the runways this season. There were asymmetric handkerchief point dresses worn over little black shorts, which the designer also paired with iconic Dior balldresses, with their seductively swathed necklines (now reimagined in iridescent nylons) abbreviating the ballooning skirts so that they revealed the little tailored black shorts worn underneath the effect owed a debt to Lacroix’s eighties puffballs. That iridescence was reflected in gleaming multihued metallic heels and in Pat McGrath’s exceptional makeup, with brilliant colored Cleopatra eye shadow, contoured and defined with a torrent of multicolored crystals.

Simons had an intriguing take on the season’s Op Art stripes and color blocking too, using those shiny colored synthetics to veil bandbox striped satin, or loosely folding or chopping up the stripes to create short dresses with a gentle A-line flare and an eye-popping presence. But there were longer line silhouettes as well, including some remarkable pencil-skirted evening dresses veiled with A-line tulle overdresses with embroidery down the front to create a mysterious play of shadow and trompe l’oeil. Intriguingly beautiful, too, were a brace of short pink or orange layered chiffon dresses with embroideries like the markings of a butterfly wing or an abstract artwork perhaps, and a cluster of three-dimension beaded embroideries like underwater sea urchins, weighting the peplum of one of those short Bar coatdresses.

The show closed with some New Age balldresses above-the-ankle ball skirts of hand-painted rose designs with a fifties motif, gleaming with a top layer of shining nylon, but sobered up with black turtleneck tops. It was fascinating to see Simons’s continued evolution at the House, this time around with more time to study and refine the codes established by Dior himself, and he rose quietly and elegantly to the challenge of reinterpreting Dior’s bravura signatures, such as those dramatic seasonal changes of “line,” the refinement and sophistication of technique (some of them Victorian revivals), and the lavish fabrications and embellishments in a way that remains potent and enticing for a twenty-first-century woman.

Selections by ANDRA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: © VOGUE
Runway: Photography by © Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway
Details: Photography by © Alessandro Viero/GoRunway
Candids: Photography by © Kevin Tachman


Collection, Fashion Show and Review

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