September 29, 2012

Raf's Dior

Raf Simons commenced his reign over Dior, in terms of RTW, with a more different direction than past Dior collections. The Dior we knew in the past, under the mind of Galliano, was full of theatrics and exaggeration. It was abounded with glamour and luxury. I think when people thought of the return of Dior, they reminisced of the Galliano era. Galliano is an artist, and he had a mind like no other. He created beautiful collections that will remain in the hearts and minds of many who witnessed it; as well as in the history in fashion. However, that era has finished and a new one has begone. Raf stripped away the theatrics, and presented a sleek, fresh, and minimal collection, at least minimal for Dior. Raf demonstrated a different type of elegance, where less is more.

As much as I loved the collection, along with many others, there were others who criticized Raf and called his collection amateur and boring (these being regular on the Internet). They exclaimed to the heavens to ask for Galliano back. I was disappointed in people to expect for Raf to do what Galliano did for Dior. Galliano didn't only use the same style of designing for Dior, he also used it for his own label. I mean that's only expected seeing as that was his style. Galliano was all about the exaggeration, the drama, the bold looks; Simons is not that. Even though Simons doesn't like to be called a minimalist, it is safe to say that he is more of a minimalist than Galliano. Raf Simons has presented his idea of what the Dior woman is, and what she wears; different designer, different opinion. It is no surprise that Simons came up with something more minimal, after seeing his haute couture collection for Dior. I admit that I did criticize his Haute Couture collection, and stated that I was disappointed (for the exception of some pieces). However one night I understood. I was pondering in my thoughts when I realized what Raf Simons did. I think he remembered that Galliano didn't establish Dior, Christian Dior did. The work that made Dior famous during the New Look  wasn't the same work that Galliano presented down the runway. In 1962 Jackie Kennedy wore a Marc Bohan Dior dress, a long pink gown, I remember it quite well in my history textbook. That same pink gown reminds me of Simons collection. The solid color gown with a shining metallic material. Raf Simons is channeling Dior himself and other past Dior designers, because that is what Dior is. He is using them as inspiration and using his own vision to put together his mark for the house. 

The theatrics is a thing of the past, it is something that Alexander McQueen and John Galliano mastered when they both designed in the past. I notice how collections  become more minimal season after season. Fashion advances and I think the age of theatrics is over, at least for now. With more people wearing designer clothes and becoming more interested in them, clothes have become more wearable. The age of collections full of huge gowns is something we rarely see. I really feel like Simons understands that, and I feel like he creates such wearable clothes because he wants people to wear them. However his collection wasn't too entirely minimal. He created a collection for the modern yet futuristic woman. With metallic detailing in the shoes and dresses, he resonated a futuristic era. His last couple of pieces had long skirts with a floral print, and top was a shiny, metallic nylon that resembled fire, thunder, light, and water. The movement of the model created a different illusion in the skirt, and many other pieces had a included this shiny nylon to create the same effect. The shoes, with a perfectly shape heel, had a metal strap across the shoe which evoked a feeling of a galactic shoe. The bags were simple and soft, which in my opinion were the epitome of the elegance that Dior is. The jewelry was decadent, yet in parts was very futuristic, which is completely cohesive with the collection because the collection does resonate the future. I really do believe that this collection is true to the basics that Dior was founded on, but also reminds the world that a new creative mind is at work. This collection brings forth a new moment in history that will continue on the legacy that is Dior.

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