If the industry was a little concerned about what would transpire at Dior’s AW16 show this season, they needn’t have worried. Yes, the brand may be without a Creative Director in the modern sense of the word, and yes, the show might have been lacking that special something, that sense of showmanship that a designer like Raf Simons brings to proceedings – no walls or mountains of flowers here, just a humble mirrored affair – but elegant and commercially viable clothes were, despite all that, still delivered with aplomb by the caretaker duo of Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux.
As you might expect from a liminal, inter-designer, collection like this one, there was a fairly heavy reliance on contemporary Dior classics, including a slew of updated Bar jackets, beautifully sculpted at the waist and variously lengthened or double breasted. Likewise, quietly dramatic, tailored outerwear of the most ladylike kind sauntered up the catwalk in wealthy whites and punchy oranges – some of them transmuting into soft, dress-like ruffles at the hem.
Splashes of Sport
Still, it wasn’t all buttoned down, haute bourgeois uniforms: that omnipresent 70s sportswear vibe that’s been reverberating on every catwalk for the past few seasons could be felt at Dior in zipped funnel necks made up in fluffy snow shades or in muted, brush strokes leopards. Other highlights included innovatively cut knits like a luminously coloured, ribbed high neck with inflated, pleated sleeves that ballooned to Elizabethan proportions. A conservative season, sure. But not one without a confident charisma all of its own: nowhere clearer than in the powerful double-bun hair and the dark purple lip that was almost black in its shimmering intensity.