PARIS--Yesterday at Dior visitors were welcome by ceiling-high screens projecting beds of tropical flowers, evoking a futuristic, Avatar-esque ambiance. Textured silhouettes resembling exotic fruits came next across the screen.
Consciously or not, this may well be Raf Simons’s response to the recent book and exhibition “Impressions Dior”, about the influence of impressionist paintings upon Christian Dior’s designs. With this latest couture collection, his third for the house, Simons seemed to be honoring founder Christian Dior whilst propelling the label into a digital, multicultural age.
Beyond a new, more international casting, he also reinterpreted all-time Dior classics (New Look ensembles or the ‘Bar’ jacket) with a transatlantic nudge. References, colors and prints inspired by the four continents (Asia, Africa, Europe, America) used in Simons's signature conceptual, Antwerp-ian manner ushered in a radical, contemporary twist. Kimono-reminiscent cuts, palettes evoking traditional ‘wax’ prints contrasted his now signature foulard, tight buns and love of bustiers.
Juxtaposed prints and a game of layering further defined a new Dior façon de faire.
As for the videos projected on the walls, which we later found out had been shot by Terry Richardson, Paolo Roversi, Patrick Demarchelier, and Willy Vanderperre, they confirmed the house’s love affair with new technologies.