Runway News

Raf Simons Pays Tribute to the Past with Modern Classics at Christian Dior Fall 2014 Haute Couture

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The Scene: Shown in a mirrored dome outside the Musée Rodin in Paris, 150,000 orchid stems covered the venue's walls while models walked on a circular runway lit up with flashing lights. A-listers in attendance included Charlize Theron, Sean Penn, Bianca Jagger, Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence, Marion Cotillard, Olivia Palermo, Zhang Ziyi and a slew of fashion heavyweights like Anna Wintour, Ulyana Sergeenko and Miroslava Duma.

The Inspiration: “I’m trying to bring a lot of reality [to Dior] which relates to how women live their lives today,” explained Raf Simons. He also told WWD that his collection is very historically inspired. “It felt like a challenge to look further back in history and see how I could modernize certain aesthetics. That is my constant drive, to make it younger and make it relevant to women in their lives today. Always, to be modern.”

The Look: Couture is often associated with over-the-top frills and embellishments, but with his Fall 2014 collection, Raf Simons showed that you can present wearable and simply gorgeous clothes that are nonetheless exciting and blatantly luxurious. Sculpted full skirt evening dresses with cinched waists — a 50s Dior signature — opened the show. In a nod to Simons' desire to make his pieces appeal to a younger demographic, however, many of the looks had pockets — something the designer pioneered at Jil Sander. Cinched jumpsuits, long and lean coats layered over wide-leg trousers, plush furs, futuristic, paneled party dresses and collarless vests and jackets followed. All were lightly embellished so as to allow the neutral and pastel palette and carefully crafted shapes to draw the eye. The collection’s standouts were the designer’s series of monochrome coats and jackets that boasted generously oversized collars, which preceded the silk cocktail dresses that closed the show, each of which were immaculately fitted with geometric detailing and careful seam work.

The Accessories: Minimally accessorized, most of the looks came finished with ankle boots in bright colors or in ombre.

The Beauty: Center-parted straight hair, muted faces, groomed brows and soft lips made for an understated beauty look that let the clothes shine.

The Takeaway: Raf Simons succeeded in making couture a modern luxury, while paying homage to Dior's rich heritage.

Images: IMAXtree

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