Today was Raf Simons’ initial presentation for the house of Dior, his first time doing haute couture. Simons began with black, opening with interpretations of Dior Bar jackets that narrowed softly at the waist. After, there then were flouncy, flowery, hip emphasizing tops (or ultra, ultra high-hemmed dresses), worn over dark cigarette pants. The bare shoulder was in, with most dresses hitting just above the breasts, fitting closely to the upper portion of the body.
Throughout, the objective went from formal evening couture to couture day wear to evening again, the Christian Dior of the forties and fifties meeting the Simons now from coat dress to column dress, one done in lustrous black fur and paired with an edgy, rounded cuff (chokers appeared as well). Simons concluded with less structured dresses embroidered differently from the front than from the back, one done in an empire waist, the lighter florals arranged decoratively over the model’s body as she came into the room.
It’s difficult to view this in all of its precision and not think of Simons’ concluding line for Jil Sander, which now seems so appropriately pre-Dior (not that it didn’t before). Simons has transitioned into what may be the most influential, highly regarded years of his career, and with the quality of this in mind, he’s just what Dior needed. He and his couture staff are going to have a very busy autumn.
Images courtesy of Vogue.co.uk (Francesca Burns, Instagram), and T Magazine’s Twitter.