Haute Couture: Christian Dior a/w 2012-13

“A shift is happening” – words spoken by the man himself, Raf Simons, making his debut as new creative director at the most anticipated fashion show, well…ever?!

I mean just take a look at the list of designer attendees: Marc, Donatalla, Ricardo Tisci, van Assche, von Furstenburg (to name a very small few!). Ana Wintour was overheard speaking to Grace Coddington before the show about how amazing it all is – regarding the flowers a classic Dior obsession (and rumoured to have numbered in the millions) – covering the walls of the 5 private salons  in which the collection was shown: delphiniums in the blue room, mimosas in the yellow, and orchids in the white…you get the idea.

Looking at the photos, it really was a sight to be seen. Simons went straight back to ultra-feminine Dior roots, analysing the codes interpreted by Dior in his time, yet mixed in his own signature minimalism (would you expect anything less?) – a strong and promising start for the iconic brand.

Look No 1 set the tone of tradition with a black wool tuxedo jacket and matching cigarette pants.. repeatedly used throughout the show with bustiers, series of cut-out dresses, and ballooning evening gowns – big stand out favourites.

The archived research was clearly evident in the Dior Red cashmere “Bar” coat with a Dior basque on the hips and a black tulle bustier evening dress with beautiful blue velvet embroidery – inspired by the “Esther” dress from a/w 1952 Haute Couture (both shown above).

There was also classic Dior tweed reworked in a grey Prince of Wales checked wool jacket and skirt and (of course) the stand out white organza dress – intricately embroidered with Pointillists degradé chiffon, hundreds of tiny confetti reproducing the flowers inspired by the original Miss Dior dress.

The selection of furs in astrakhan and mink in electric colours showed the decadence of the couture creations and were definitely among the other noted favourites on my fantasy couture wish-list! Joining the striking blues and bright crimsons were pale pinks and pastels, some injected through the embroidered feathers on the evening dresses – another traditional aspect to add to the rest!

Finally, ending the amazing display of mastery, was a long organza and tulle dress with a pink embroidered front and blue floral embroidered back – a remake of the historical Dior designs paired with futuristic interpretations by Simons.

Just absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and classic Dior. Some of the pieces did remind me of Raf’s last collection for Jill Sander, especially the long draped evening gowns (although they lacked the ability to bring a tear to my eye like the Sander show.. it really was amazing!) and maybe I was expecting something a little more shocking, what with all the hype and anticipation around the show. Nonetheless, it was a strong and promising start to Simons’ career at the eponymous label: unmistakably beautiful, feminine and soft – and I just cannot get over those trousers!

Raf Simons’ showcase of Dior’s New Look (pun intended!) really was exquisite and definitely does embody the definition of the day, described as “a blueprint” by the creative director himself. 

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