Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Back to the Future

        No matter how experienced you are at something, returning to it after taking a break is daunting. For Serena Williams returning to tennis a year after her 2010 injuries was daunting. However, as Wimbledon's women's singles final proved last weekend, it was worth it. Not only did she return to a well-established career as a tennis-player but she built upon it - a year and a half after returning to the game she matched her sister's impressive feat of five Wimbledon wins and became one of the oldest women to win the title. Aged 30 she worked her way back to the top.
        Now, whilst the similarities between myself and Serena Williams are small to say the least - I too am returning to something I love after taking a break. In what has been a month of ups and downs - A-levels and end of school celebrations, I have had to put blogging to one side. In a month of biting nails and unnerving stress, the sheer escapade and enjoyment of fashion itself has been, more or less, avoided by me, in an attempt to buckle down and secure the grades I need for university.


         However, it being July, exams are over and I can, for the first time in what seems like forever, blog. For the first time in a month I can sit, inhale fashion and write. Moreover, it being July, I have plenty to blog about: shows - the shows at London's first men's fashion week, the subsequent menswear shows in Paris and Milan, the couture shows...and yet, in the midst of all of these, there is one show which stands out in particular. One show which seems a little more blog-worthy than the rest: Raf Simons' debut at Dior.
* * *

        For a year and a half Dior was leaderless. In the year and half after Galliano was asked to leave Dior, the brand wandered somewhat aimlessly in the world of fashion with no exact idea as to what it should do or what it should be post Galliano. Without a figurehead to inject it with fresh creative vision the brand seemed somewhat confused and so the announcement of Galliano's successor in April - Raf Simons - was a welcome sigh of relief for both the brand and fashion world alike. A promise of a new Dior.
       Simons, however, did appear to be a somewhat strange choice for Dior. He is, as his eponymous and Jil Sander collections prove, a master of minimalism, whereas Christian Dior himself was renowned not for his subtlety but for the thrills and trills he brought to fashion and design and Galliano, if anything, accentuated that. Galliano built upon the ball gowns and developed the theatrics of Dior so that the brand stood out  in its extravagance - one need only look at his final couture show with the label to see just how extravagant Galliano made it.



       And yet the appointment of Simons as Dior's new creative director is not as strange as it may have originally seemed. The fashion world loves modernisation and, as recent couture shows have proved, fashion has begun to lean more towards the practical side of design than the impractical. In appointing Simons at Dior, the brand made two bold but necessary statements - first that they are modernising Dior and second that they are moving on from Galliano's era of overt opulence. They are changing. 
       And boy did Simons' debut at Dior fulfil what it promised. Gone was Galliano's loveable excess and in its place came Simons' sleeker take on the Dior dame. In the form of LBDs and cropped trousers Simons established the 2012 Dior woman: a lady who oozes elegance and luxury without having to shout about it. What's more is that Simons even dared recreate Dior's infamous 'New Look' dress - he reworked it in black and yellow tie die to great success. He hailed a new Dior. A new 'New Look' and the result couldn't have been more slick.


        In his first couture show for the label Simons somehow managed to create a subtle Dior. He created a Dior in respect of its antithesis: Chanel. He took us back to the future with a restrained but beautiful take on couture and, in his hands, the future's bright, very bright indeed.

3 comments:

  1. great post!

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    www.linlicious-style.nl

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    1. Thank you - glad you enjoyed it! I'm following you now. x

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