Paris Couture A/W'12 - Dior

So much has already been written about this show that it's hardly worth me writing about it too, but since I was so excited when Raf Simon's appointment was announced I figure I may as well jump in to the fray. Although I'm not sure if one can call it a fray since the responses have been almost entirely positive. In fact the only negative thing written about it - "One Critic Dares to Knock Raf Simon's Dior Debut" announced The Cut - wasn't really about the collection at all but about the set. Colin McDowell at The Business of Fashion wrote it was ostentatious, but really I think he was just clever and was rustling himself up some press for being the one critic to dare knock Raf Simon's Dior debut. So was the set, a million flowers lining the walls, ostentatious? Maybe, but it was also beautiful and oh lord I wish I'd been there to see it. Instead I'll have to make do with pictures and a video showing its creation.


What about the collection itself? Well, it's hard to write on actually. Everyone was expecting great things, amazing things, something revolutionary, which was very silly because of course we didn't get it. And so while we built ourselves up for disappointment, it wouldn't be fair to say that it was entirely disappointing either. The clothes were undoubtedly beautiful and nothing less than what we've come to expect from Simons, but while critics were talking about how the collection marked a shift for couture I felt this was the promise of a shift. Simon's hasn't quite arrived in this particular collection but I'm sure he will soon - and he said himself that the collection was "a blueprint", a statement I've taken to interpret as not quite the final product. 
I must admit there was an air that the collection had been rushed a bit, which would make sense considering Simon's had only a short time to acquaint himself with and utilize his new atelier. I always like my collections to fit together perfectly, to make one cohesive statement, and I thought the show was lacking somewhat. Dyed fur and Sterling Ruby prints in a single show seemed almost too much. And the inclusion of those dyed furs irked me, possibly due to their resemblance to Marc Jacobs' Jamiroquai hatsOn a more positive note, he has married Dior's history and aesthetic with his more minimal one perfectly, although we all knew he could do that already

If this sounds unfair to Simons - judged in black and white the collection is most definitely a success - it is only that so much is expected of him now, after four incredible final collections for Jil Sander. And I'm almost certain that he'll live up to the expectations, which is all rather exciting!

runway images from vogue.com

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