Raf Simons' clothes are always electric. His work feels alive—like it could walk off on its own, sans model.
Simons’ fall collection for Dior was particularly high wattage. (And it wasn’t just the lit-up ceiling at the Musée Rodin, which will be Instagrammed for days.)
"This season I wanted to propose a new woman," he said in the show notes. "A woman with power and energy in a very definite way." To achieve that, he homed in on suiting, offering his client -- many of which were sitting prettily in the audience, wearing spring 2014’s finest -- single and double-breasted trousers suits in a narrow, but not restricting, silhouette.
There was a lot of black. One suit, topped off with a charcoal short-sleeved coat and sky-blue leather gloves, was a particular standout. But he accented the collection with a garden variety of colors: melon, oxblood, citron and navy all had their place. To further extend the idea of a sporty-urban woman, Simons laced up several of the suits, jackets and dresses with thick drawstring. It looked great running up the sides of a grassy-green overcoat, but also pulling together the deep, wide slit of a mini dress.
Gowns are big business at Dior, and his rainbow-sequined t-shirt number was particularly inspired. But he showed a larger range of day and cocktail dresses, playing with the trapeze silhouette Yves Saint Laurent created for the house. Tons of styles were layered: a green tank dress was topped with a fuchsia, off-the-shoulder frock with the slit up the rib cage. Cool.
Simons is a confident designer, and his work for Dior has, thus far, been well received. But this collection felt even more focused than the previous, and proved that he can work his own magic within the codes of the house, much like he did at Jil Sander.