Without doubt, one of my absolute favourite collections for F/W 2013 is DIOR. Raf Simons takes the French Maison to new heights with this literally speaking very artistic collection. It is the story of affinities between the founder, Monsieur Christian Dior, and the designer himself.
I have fallen in love with the new looks already on the runway and during my re-see in the showroom during Paris Fashion Week, I have been completely taken by all the beautiful details that I will share with you today.
This season, Raf Simons focuses on this notion of memory and how it shapes the nature of design at the house; how this works for himself and how it once worked for Christian Dior.
“This collection is more connected to passions we share,” says Raf Simons. “Like a real interest in art – Christian Dior started his career as a gallerist and represented both Dali and Giacometti early on. The connection to certain periods of time is also significant, his obsession with the Belle Époque in his case, the Mid-Century modern in mine. Here the connections made are important, the very idea of them rather than what they are made to; the attraction and obsession is the significant part.”
The collection functions in the form of a visual scrapbook, a collage of clothing containing significant moments in time both for Raf Simons and the house of Christian Dior. A Dior coat can function easily alongside a further exploration of the Bar jacket in wool denim, itself teamed with a new take on Oxford bags.
Dior’s iconic houndstooth motif is explored and transposed, emerging frequently as a wool bustier. A notion of asymmetry, begun in the haute couture collection, can be seen throughout, resulting in a abundance of permutations in the silhouettes that can go from short to long in one look. The collection is full of unexpected juxtapositions and visual non sequitur; a free association, like a personal scrapbook, both playful and profound, it embraces idiosyncrasy, culminating in what Simons refers to as “memory dresses.”
Here, a typical twenties shift shape (Think of the The Great Gatsby’s influence!) is embroidered and appliqued with motifs that point to parts of the personal history of Dior; a Surrealist style free association culminates in these clothes and is up for open interpretation. They also display the new graphic sensibility that is introduced in this collection and permeates throughout. This is most significantly displayed in the unique collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in the collection.
The early hand drawn work from the 1950s of the artist Andy Warhol is found as a recurring motif of the mid-century style printed or embroidered on the clothing and accessories.
“For me Warhol made so much sense,” says Simons of this collaboration. “I was interested in the delicacy and sensitivity in the early work he did, I was drawn to that graphic style naturally in this collection. It was that notion of hand work and personal signature that fitted throughout.”
These notions of Surrealism and Pop are brought together in the dreamscape of the show set. As a Magritte-style cloud path meanders around the gigantic mirrored spheres of the space, the mix of memory and desire in the collection is brought to dream-like culmination.
Below, you can enjoy some of the accessories that are to die for. The embroidered boots are definitely on my must-have shopping list.
Dior’s amazing F/W 2013 collection will hit the stores aproximately end of August, beginning of September 2013. If I have whetted your appetite for some serious shopping, you should have a look at the house’s extremely beautiful Pre-fall 2013 collection which has started to arrive.
A collection which shows the new juxtapositions in perfection: a billowing very couture-like skirt that is tied at the waist and reaching to the floor in back is paired with a cashmere-silk knit tee (see collage below to the right) or a sort of wool fabric belt that elevates the look to a new level of style. I imagine Raf’s casual glamour will become his signature. One thing is for sure, we will see more and more Dior on the streets and the house jacket will be identifiable everywhere. Personally speaking, I am madly in love! My collection for the upcoming season!
Runway photos: Courtesy of Dior, Showroom pictures: © Sandra Bauknecht