Dior re-works simplicity and plays on faux naif Dada & Surrealism
I may have to re-evaluate Dior. It’s quite in another veign since Galliano left – not a bad move but decidedly different and relaying the quiet elegance and polished restraint of the new meister at the helm. This A/W’13 show managed to be both modernist mode and charming in extremis, the film-star’s fall-back for good taste.
The large silver balls setting was future proofed yet Cardin tinged. Glimpses of a reflective metallic world, curved and making a statement, reflecting back the good manners and sufficient grace of the sway of the ladies who walked for Dior.
There was still trademark Raf’ishness in heaps. The folds, layers and asymmetricism, delightful faux naif Dior profile sketches and butterflies worked into dress panels, structured strapless swagger dresses with elements of playful, colourful embroidery, A-line 3/4 length wide capelets worn over organza shifts and the rise and fall of hemlines with flashes of a scarlet robe, leather re-worked in a dainty-sexy attitude and the now familiar ‘new’ daywear come eveningwear, a frou-frou strapless ‘rose’ bustier worn over sharp, narrow pants.
Picking up the gauntlet for one of this season’s key trends, Raf did monochrome sublimely – trompe oeil, crochet and gingham was worked as was the skirt over the trouser. Raf’s strength for Dior is his line of beautiful coats – like 1950s dreams, these are modernist prim with razor sharp cutting. Simons also made a feature of the low scoop neck, sometimes in coat dresses with bustiers peeping through, sometimes as long line waistcoats worn over print mini-dresses again, paired over trousers. Though this sounded clumsy, the execution was superb. But it will be the dainty, Surrealist shoe-print dresses in chiffon and organza that will fill the pages of Summer edition glossies as will the new voluminous, asymmetric. gypsy hemmed dresses that flowed onto long Chinese satin print boots – simple, ultra modern and ultra pretty.
What Simons had delivered at Dior is a new vision of womanhood – straddling the modernist minimalism of Celine, Chloe et al while taking Dior’s elegance as it’s heartbeat with just enough colour, frou-frou and womanly prettiness to please the Dior stalwarts as well as win a new audience. The new path is less gutsy and heart wrenching than Galliano’s visions but a big hit with a new clientele ready for change and a touch of Raf’s subdued Dada & Surrealism.
Catwalk imagery kindly supplied by kind agreement of www.showstudio.com