Fashion fans have long been waiting to see who would take the creative helm at Christian Dior post-John Galliano, so they greeted the news of Raf Simons’ appointment with relief after the long period of limbo in which there was no official creative director in place. Simons showed his first collection for the brand today in Paris for the Fall 2012 Haute Couture season, and Fashion Spot forum members greeted it with decidedly mixed reviews. I can’t help but think that his detractors would have responded better to the collection if it had been accompanied by the theatrical drag queen hair and makeup they had become accustomed to under Galliano’s reign.
Dodencebt posted, “I honestly find this quite uninspiring, lackluster and boring. To me most of the clothes are too plain (I've seen very plain but interesting clothes, this is boring plain) and honestly, ugly. Some of those peplum tops and the printed pieces are just not my idea of elegance at Dior. Other than that it's a fine collection, but I definitely expected more.”
“All I could think of was ‘Jil Sander Jil Sander Jil Sander,’” vandekamp commented, voicing a popular consensus among forum members. “It's quite beautiful though, regardless,” she conceded.
In contrast to those who thought Simons hadn’t yet realized that he was no longer designing for Jil Sander, Selfportraitgrl praised his first attempt to steer the label in a new direction: “Absolutely stunning collection. The Galliano era is over, and Christian Dior has wiped its hands clean of him.”
Crying Diamonds is excited to see how Simons will grow into his role at Dior. “Raf Simons may be playing it safe, but he has seamlessly blended his transition from Jil Sander to Dior; he's repeated those pinks he used in his final collection, and he's embracing the trademark Dior silhouettes,” he wrote. “If Simons arrived at Dior with metallic A-line dresses and black fringed body-con pieces it wouldn't be Dior – he has to be Dior but be himself, both at the same time. Give him a few seasons and I have faith that he will make the Dior icon a modern lady.”
Luxx summed up my own opinion more succinctly than I could have done myself, so I’ll leave you with her words: “There was no way for Simons to please everyone (especially with expectations being so high) but I think he's built compelling framework, this is simply the foundation on which he can build.”