Dior Couture Fall 2013
The future of couture has been a hotly debated topic for the past decade. Countless opinions have been voiced on the subject, but rarely does a designer confront the key question of his generation head on. Raf Simons’ serene couture collection for Dior was a thoughtful meditation on the couture landscape, its meanings and ensuing ethos. As one of the unquestioned leaders of this era of couturiers, Simons’ opinion on the subject holds special weight and in his view couture’s continuation is all about freedom and inclusiveness. The forward thinking and globally minded approach that has propelled industrywide growth of late, found an appealing representation in a collection that drew inspiration from every continent and era. Setting couture free from its lofty trappings and infusing it with a modern mix of unexpected fabric treatments and vivid colors, culled from an international set of influences is just the thing to awaken the market.
Simons’ ambitious approach made for a jam-packed collection of over fifty looks, each one incorporating a series of unorthodox pairings. A shift reminiscent of archival Dior, finds new life when delivered in spiky shibori tiers of red and jade, sparkling embroidery adds a touch of whimsy to the classic black dress, houndstooth suiting worn with layers of pearls feels fresh with the addition of citrine and each subsequent couture standby is elevated by the inclusion of a fresh element. Throughout his career Simons has been adept at updating the classics with subtle touches of modernity, here he expands on his oeuvre by enlivening the standards and making these familiar pieces feel exciting once more. Even the red carpet gown – always appealing, but usually one sequin away from staid safety – gets a reboot via a sorbet striped tulle column that crackles with youthful exuberance.