Saturday, July 27, 2013

Welcome Back, Dior!

If there's one fashion wish I could make, it would be to witness firsthand Christian Dior's spring/summer 1947 collection. The elegance of it all, especially during a time when fashion was used to dropped waists and monochrome colour palettes, was a feast for the senses. The feminine silhouettes and distinct softness caused a style revolution. Unfortunately, during Galliano's tenure, the essence of the Dior house was lost in all the frou frou but thankfully, with Raf Simons at the helm, it has been revived and given a modern sense.

"Simons has a way of making the minimal alluring. That was his legacy at Jil Sander, where he designed for seven years since July 2005. Before that, he launched his own menswear label in 1995. Simons was adored by the global fashion industry for bringing clean style to the forefront. Bidding farewell to Jil Sander invoked a few tears but looking at his current work for Dior, it was definitely a beautiful goodbye.

One of his goals for the house was to bring back the essence of Dior.“People these days don’t know who Christian Dior is. For them it is Galliano. I understand that very well but for me the most essential thing that should be as clear as possible is that it should not be about that. It was never that. Theatrical, unrealistic, not for wear,” he says in an interview with Vogue UK and adds, "I don't see Dior in the street. His ultimate obsession is that he wanted women to wear it in the streets. I can see Chanel but what about Dior?" “The name Dior should symbolize the ultimate in elegance and refinement,” Simon includes, and that’s what he’s trying to reimagine. 
So far, so good. Simons has pinned it to the wall with great accuracy: A-line silhouettes, full skirts, feminine colors graced the s/s 2013 couture show. Christian Dior’s designs were coming alive again. Even in his ready-to-wear collections, Simons threads the designs with the core identity of the house: fall 2013 RTW took inspiration from art, which the founder himself was passionate about, and for the fall 2013 couture show, there was a parade of "memory dresses" that explored houndstooth, peplum, and other designs Dior propelled during his 10 years at the house. Simons brought back the New Look in its purest and most unadulterated form in years.  

Simon’s strategy also includes keeping up with the cultural zeitgeist of the times. In the 21st century, we see a reaction to the frivolous fashion of the previous decades. Minimalism reigns supreme. This fashion movement shares an umbilical cord with the current social climate of the world. As women ascend, there is “a need for upper echelon career clothes” which the aesthetics and silhouette of minimalism provide. Also due to technological advances and mass production, simple pieces make the cut. Ethics and environment now have a huge impact on fashion, as well as other industries, so purchasing pieces that last seem like the more practical move. Timelessness, comfort, and simplicity have been underlined as the favorable look." 
I can't wait to see what Raf Simons has in store for us this September...

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