Staging the first ever Pre-Fall show for Dior in Tokyo, Raf Simons gives us a lesson in hyper-luxury with a utilitarian appeal.
In what can only be described as a visual feast, yesterday saw Raf Simons stage the first ever Dior Pre-Fall show in Tokyo. Taking place at Tokyo’s Kokugikan – a former sumo wrestling arena, vast, spotlit and peppered with snow – the show paid homage to a place not only linked to the heritage of the fashion house, but also a place close to Simons’ heart. “Tokyo is a place that has been and is so constantly inspiring to me,” says Simons. “Particularly in terms of the liberty people take for themselves in how they dress, there is nowhere else like it; the freedom of styles, the new architecture of clothing that you can see forming in the street as well as in city’s fashion design history… It’s a place that is both extreme and exhilarating.”
Invoking a sultry mix of leisure and pleasure, the collection showcased a new ‘utilitarian glamour’ for Dior. Clothes not just for the catwalk, but clothes for the adventurous woman, clothes to be worn. Sequins made their debut layered beneath high-neck structured dresses and loose-hung slip dresses, whilst a silver metallic-leather fur-lined coat evoked an air of traditional-futurism. Of course, contrasts are something Simons is familiar with and this collection that saw contrasting textures, finishes and fabrics co-exist in sleek singular silhouettes, was no exception. As Simons explains, “in Tokyo I think of the sliding together of things that are glamorous, of the urban environment as well as of the outdoors. This contrast goes to make iconic women in iconic silhouettes and idea of projecting into the future.”
It was a collection defined by hyper-luxury with that much desired utilitarian appeal – a continuation of Dior’s new language. A language that we all want to learn.