Yesterday, Raf Simons at the helm of Dior Haute Couture sent down pixie-haired models in dresses adorned with flowers and intricate beadwork. It was inspired by the gardens mentioned in Christian Dior’s biography, and Simons’ own garden at his Belgian parents’ house. The designer’s sophomore couture collection took the theme of flowers and rebirth literally.
The collection was a step away from Simons’ first couture collection for Dior, where he stayed true to the feminine and polished aesthetic. Here, it was more a deconstruction. And I was less of a fan. Simons’ main goal in charge of Dior was to appeal to the old fans of the brand, but how can you when there were so many awful pieces with pants and weird cuts of contrasting fabric that looked like sad curtains you would see at a three-star hotel. Yes, I went there.
I didn’t like the way he used clashing fabrics in the dress on the right, and I can’t get over that frumpy mauve bridesmaid dress in the centre photo.
Simons is a futurist, so naturally, he tried to meld organic ideas and bright colours with futuristic cuts and colourblocking. I thought these shapes were unflattering and more ready-to-wear than couture. I also couldn’t get over the shiny dupone silk fabric (centre photo below) that remind me of an old headboard we had in the 90s.
Simons was more successful with punchy colour when he focused in on the overall silhouette, without distracting colour blocking.
The collection ended on a stronger note with gorgeous pastel gowns adorned with ethereal flowers and drama.
While I loved the tops of these looks, I was puzzled by the fixation of having ill-fitting pants beneath them. Simons did this last season, but it worked better when winter burgundy wasn’t fighting with frothy cream and yellow. I was also disappointed with the lack of fit in the pants, and their simple straight shape. With a couture collection, I would have loved to see the same flower details sprayed onto the pants, or more architectural shapes and cuts.
The high points for me where the flower adornment and intricate overlay of beadwork. I loved how the collection played with sheer fabrics, creating both opaque and sheer illusions. It felt as if the models were enrobed in a cocoon (and aren’t all models butterflies in some sense?). This of course, was thanks to the wealth of talent and resources at the Dior atelier.
These were my favourite dresses of the collection.
I wish Simons focused his attention on that effect and carried it out throughout the collection. I could only dream of a bolero jacket with the same effect, a spring cocoon coat in dreamy sheer fabric inlayed with flowers, or a voluminous skirt. Simons is still finding his ground at the Dior house, and hopefully learning some lessons. I only hope that the fall couture collection will be pants-free.
Images via Style.com