Dior designer Raf Simons hosted his 2015 cruise runway show in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Wednesday evening, shuttling hundreds of invitees across the river via Dior-branded boats. Once they arrived, Simons further set a nautical scene. Guests were greeted by sailors in gray uniforms passing out cocktails, and the security guards donned navy blazers embellished with a Dior crest. East Coast prep, but definitely with a French air. "America is a constant inspiration for me," Simons said in the show notes. "The pop culture, the energy, the fluidity... there is just something so alive here."
Former New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn, a longtime supporter of Simons, sat front row, as did Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler. Oh, and an Instagram-less Rihanna, Allison Williams, Marion Cotillard and Leelee Sobieski, too. The crowd was particularly well turned out. Clients who attend Dior shows like wearing Simons's fineries, and tonight was no different: There were plenty of tribal earrings, striped gowns, etc. Editors, too, seemed to be wearing their best and newest spring pieces as if it was the first day of school. (After all, it's been two months since the Paris shows.)
As for the clothes? "What I always like in America is that there is such a melting pot of styles," Simons said. The collection, inspired by the Parisian woman's favorite accessory, a silk scarf, was eclectic in a melting pot sort of way -- as each of Simons's collections for Dior have been. Freed from the minimalist restraints of Jil Sander, Simons has used the Dior runway to create urban tribes of women who freely mix silhouettes, colors and prints. (He likes to send two models out at once, which further underlines that "traveling in a pack" idea.) He uses a heavy dose of black to ground it all: the first set of looks included black wool high-waisted pants paired with a print silk scarf top, as well as with a black-knitted raffia scarf top and matching skirt. Jackets, too, help to further define Simons's mission at Dior. A heather gray silk coat dress, for instance, was slick, youthful and immaculate at once. Simons used proportions quite a bit to get across his point: skirts were ultra high, some hitting the top of the rib cage, while many jackets had a long, tunic-like silhouette.
Resort is often the most commercial of collections -- it sits on the floor the longest, landing in November or December -- and Simons seemed to take that into consideration with his 66 looks. Alongside the raffia were light wools, and lace-up booties that could work no matter what temperature it was outside. Simons's fans would certainly travel farther than the Brooklyn Navy Yard to snap up a pair.