To be rather blunt, these past few years at Dior were as dramatic as an episode of The Hills, Pretty Little Liars, and Beverly Hills: 90210 combined. After John Galliano’s abrupt exit- the use of discriminatory words is still a major faux pas, by the way- the rumor mill started churning at full force. From Alber Elbaz to Riccardo Tisci, the list of Galliano’s potential successors was basically a “who’s who” of the hottest designers in the industry. Finally, the Parisian fashion house decided on a very unexpected innovator to carry the proverbial torch: Raf Simons. Though we already got a slice of Simons’ Dior aesthetic at the label’s A/W 2012 collection, all eyes were on the former Jil Sander designer at this fall’s round of shows. So how was the show? I’m glad you asked.
Before you compare Simons’ work to Galliano’s, here’s some advice: don’t. Each style originator has his or her own taste; however, Simons and Galliano are polar opposites. At first glance, I was baffled. Not only did this collection lack Galliano’s overt pizzazz, the former designer’s familiar red lip was nowhere to be found. “Can Dior really survive without Galliano?” I asked myself as I hastily clicked through the Style.com report. The answer is yes. Many of you may associate the label with Dior’s classic creations and Galliano’s extravagant collections; however, it’s time to move on.In my opinion, the new Dior designer is and will always be a contemporary designer who can forgo the label's former bells and whistles.Simons’ show represents the end of the era. The quintessential Parisian chick no longer dresses like Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face (sad, but true). Instead, she’s inventive. She can stroll alongside the Canal Saint-Martin in a simple ensemble and still be the chicest girl in the city. She doesn’t need a frilly dress to be classic. In short, Simons is redefining the classic Parisian.
While the former creative director sent a flounce of femininity down the runway- a major nod to Dior’s “New Look”- Simons chose a sleeker route. Gone are the days of girlish skirts and lavish fripperies. Instead of a womanly ensemble, Simons decided to open the show with a pantsuit. If that isn’t a “game changer” move, I don’t know what is. The collection boasted a rampant array of stiff silhouettes, contemporary patterns, and an appropriate amount of punchy colors. Oh, and loads of black. In the event change really scares you, please direct your attention towards the final looks- Simons paid homage to the label’s classic roots with ladylike skirts and floral prints.
Without a doubt, Simons’ collection is different, but who’s to say that different is a bad thing? Instead, this new era makes us respect the past, embrace the present, and fantasize about the future.
What did you think about this collection? I’m dying to know!