El desfiles de Raf Simons para Christian Dior primavera-verano 2013 era uno de los más esperados por crítica y público en esta edición de la Semana de la moda de París. Todos querían ver (y comentar) como se desenvolvía el diseñador belga al frente de la colección ready-to-wear de la firma francesa. Y por lo que parce, Bernard Arnault y Sidney Toledano, podéis estar tranquilos.
Mr. Simons’s Dior show was a fantastic treat because he knew what he wanted to achieve and he did it with precision. He essentially continued with the styles of his July couture show, but he gave more attention to a Dior day look — something that the house, unlike its rival Chanel, has fumble with. In doing so, Mr. Simons supplied Dior with the clearest road map for ready-to-wear it has had in years.
The Schubert piece that was playing as invitees entered the huge, purpose-built salons where Raf Simons showed his first ready-to-wear collection for Dior today was familiar, especially to fans of The Hunger, David Bowie’s 1983 vampire movie. Simons is an ardent Bowie-phile, and the very individual choice of music was the first sign that the designer was about to impress his personality on the massive edifice that is Dior. Where Galliano achieved the same thing by amping up the house till it matched his own delirious, romantic, saturatingly sensual historicism, Simons took a long, cool look at the heritage and found the strictness, the rigor, and a different kind of sensuality.
It was fascinating to see Simons’s continued evolution at the House, this time around with more time to study and refine the codes established by Dior himself, and he rose quietly and elegantly to the challenge of reinterpreting Dior’s bravura signatures, such as those dramatic seasonal changes of “line,” the refinement and sophistication of technique (some of them Victorian revivals), and the lavish fabrications and embellishments—in a way that remains potent and enticing for a twenty-first-century woman.
His debut at Dior on Friday was so exhaustingly spectacular that the faces of guests looked strained from taking it all in. It was almost too much to bear: extravagantly draped ultra-mini dresses for evening were worn over business-like black shorts, suggesting a new ease with evening wear. Pleats – intricate and spaced unevenly on sheath dresses and skirts – gave movement to clothes that would be at home in the boardroom, but had the power of serious fashion.
It was the roar that went up backstage behind the wafting pastel curtains, echoing the clapping in the graceful interlocking salons, that proved the designer Raf Simons had exceeded all expectations.
His Dior show for summer 2013 was a triumph of 21st-century modernism, with all the codes of purity and simplicity challenged.
With these clothes Simons was, in effect, proving you don’t have to boil lushness away to find the essence of a garment or to be able to move freely in the world.
This was overt, in a statement that described the show as “breaking through the notion of ‘anti-sex’ attached to the restriction of minimalism . . . an embracing of the sexual, emotional, sensual and feminine.”
And it was covert, in clothes that married cool functionality to traditional extravagance in a meeting of equals.
And this collection – a resounding success – was full of what looked like little chapters, but ones with a clear vision at the end of them: namely that Simons was a very good choice for Dior.