It was out with the old and in with the new at Paris Fashion week for Dior as Belgian designer, Raf Simons, showed his Fall/Winter 2012 collection. This collection was the first for Simons since being appointed the creative director of the iconic Parisian fashion house.
The position of creative director had formerly belonged to John Galliano who was known for his flamboyant and theatrical style. Unfortunately, due to a drunken anti-Semitic tirade in 2011, he was fired from Dior. His shows were always a spectacle, featuring outlandish fashion, dramatic music and elaborate accessories. He took the Dior name farther than any other designer, with the exception of Christian Dior himself. Under Galliano, the Dior shows were a highlight of Fashion week as everyone waited to see what the eccentric designer would do next; everything from Anubis heads, to dancing ninjas was fair game.
This is why it was such a surprise when Dior named the Jill Sander designer, Raf Simons, the head of Dior. His minimalist style of design and persona are the polar opposite of Galliano, but despite the drastic change, Raf Simons managed to make his collection very “Dior.”
Instead of picking up where Galliano left off, Simons drew inspiration from the fashion house’s founder Christian Dior and presented a collection that was ladylike, but modern. At first glance, there were many overt references to the fifties and sixties with voluminous hips, cinched waists, and demure veils, but the coloring and details were delightfully unexpected. Especially striking were the two-toned dresses that appeared to be completely different in the front than in the back. Simons’ brilliant use of stark contrasts shocked, but never clashed. His color palate was interesting and tasteful as he built off of black white and grey by adding soft pastels mixed with pops of electric yellow and indigo. The collection was the perfect wardrobe for a modern woman.
While more demure than what Dior has been in recent years, Raf Simons is defiantly one to watch as he leads Dior into the future.