After the external set hype, Dior delivered a sugar sweet collection and we saw the long awaited shoe evolution from thigh high hooker boots.
Fragile garments for the not-so-fragile woman were on show at Raf Simons’ SS16 Dior collection. Sensually crisp, at the centre of the collection lay updated Victorian style undergarments: with scalloped necklines on fine white cotton crop tops, and delicately hemmed shorts in the same which were exposed, or sat beneath, candy-floss pink and white striped silk dresses – floating like clouds. Summer parkas – in magnolia white satin or a pink stripe – were finished with the most delicate of pleats at the hem, as were more masculinely tailored suit jackets. Accessories tapped into the same feel, with what looked like tinted monocles sat at the left of the throat atop flesh coloured ribbon. Somehow, Simons managed to produce something that was both historical, yet futuristic. This is design proffering ultimate detail, ultimate skill, and ultimate luxury. There was absolutely no stuffiness or overindulgence in this work – everything was to the point… and that point was nothing short of beautiful.
Upon entrance to the Musee du Louvre, the bulging crowds were met with a phenomenal wild mound of purple perennials, covering the entirety of the pop-up show space (a pop-up show space which seated around 2000 people, no less). Departing from Simons’ usual preened garden, this season the setting was more wild. Thematically, this continued into elements of the show: intriguing wool cropped sweaters sat atop the aforementioned Victorian cottons. These sweaters were rough at the hem, sometimes forming a curve across the centre of the torso, and sometimes not. Exaggerated curved shoulders were knitted in structurally (imagine American Football shape – without the grotesquely brutish feel), in hues of powder pink, beige, or blue. Exquisite embellishment of gold and silver stems weaving into cream flowers encrusted white satin parkas and military jackets, adding an injection of wild decoration to the otherwise femme decorum.
It was hard to know how Simons was going to follow the iconic PVC ankle boot showed last season, but today’s shoe was equally pleasing. Strapped at the ankle, pointed at the toe, with a tower-like cylindrical heel – they were the final geometric addition to the equation. In hi-shine patents of nudes and blacks, a swathe of leather coursed through buckles across the toes – pure shoe poetry. Bags were statement: in deep blues, silvers, and metallic oranges. The cylinder was mirrored in the new sports bag which cropped up three or four times – now white, black or tan. The leatherwork was more direct than the garments in terms of feel – but it was this equilibrium which achieved strength and delicacy at once. Breath completely taken.
Words: Tom Rasmussen