Dior Designs the Future by Plucking from the Past for Spring 2015

The designer decided to rethink today's modern aesthetic.
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The designer decided to rethink today's modern aesthetic.
A look from Dior's spring 2015 collection show. Photo: Imaxtree

A look from Dior's spring 2015 collection show. Photo: Imaxtree

If anyone can make a dressing gown modern, it’s Raf Simons. The Dior artistic director’s big thought for spring 2015 was to transform what feels ancient into something contemporary. “It was an idea of confronting what people now think is an aesthetic that is modern,” Simons said in the show notes. “It felt more modern to go to the far past, not the ‘modernized’ look of the past decade.”

There were 18th century-inspired dresses, high-neck or puffed-sleeve in white poplin and a delicate floral. Simons made a flight suit in the same fabric, cinching together the model’s tiny waist with a slick burgundy belt. The designer also plucked long vests from the era, adding a flap at the small of the back that looked like a modern version of a bustle. He seemed to have fun mixing silhouettes that are considered by most to be “current” — bomber jackets, quilted skate shorts, that aforementioned flight suit — with the styles of past eras. Little touches of floral embroidery, floral beading and knitted boots spotlighted the house’s métiers.

What’s so striking about Simons’s work at Dior is its outward fearlessness. This season, instead of designing an elaborate set that would be photographed as much as the clothes, he went for black walls and a white runway. (Which apparently looked quite similar to the set of his last couture show.) As more and more designers rely on showmanship to generated buzz around their collections, Simons is paring back. It seems that he is trusting his instincts with the clothes and, subsequently, with the brand as well.