Raf Simons was clearly in a playful mood when he was designing the Christian Dior Spring 2015 couture collection: eclectic, knit jumpsuits were followed by full skirts and sequined bodices. Raf Simons has always been open about his inspirations. Often, it’s been a case of wearing his heart on his sleeve, all but literally, which has given his work an extraordinary amount of soulfulness.
The romance of couture salons in the ’50s, the strung-out experimentalism of the ’60s, the anything-goes-ness of the ’70s…Simons rolled the universe into a ball wrapped in plastic. It’s a hard task to pick highlights from what followed.
Minutely pleated flaring dresses and skirts embroidered in strips of ribbon had an ineffable, irresistible lightness.
An experiment in textures and transparency, the looks were a daring mélange of printed plastic, vinyl, embroideries, pleats and guipure – some brilliantly embellished with metallic accents, others blatantly subversive in their simplistic restraint. The designs were presented against a jaw-dropping set of glossy white scaffolding, powder pink carpeting and mirrored ceilings, which served to underline and multiply Raf Simons’ fearless vision for Dior and the gutsy joy that vibrated throughout the collection.
There were sixty-six looks in the collection. When Dior president and CEO Sidney Toledano made notice of that fact before the show, he told Simons, “Did you know? This is the sixty-sixth year that Dior Inc. U.S.A. exists.” A total coincidence, Simons asserted, but one that had a special meaning for him. “Christian Dior was a bit superstitious, and I am too.” And, more important, “There was always a strong relationship between Mr. Dior and U.S. clients. It makes sense for us to come here now.”