Christian Dior Haute Couture A/W 2012 by Raf Simons

The hardest thing to realize in fashion is that the future lies in the past. The second hardest thing is to forget the past.” – Cathy Horyn

“Raf Simons will replace John Galliano at the House of Dior!”. Do we all remember this news? People were so sceptical and so was I. In my personal case being sceptical is an understatement actually. I just could not quite see Raf Simons “in Dior“. I also could not quite let go of Galliano Era. I was sure Simons will never match up for Galliano. Perhaps it is true, perhaps he never will. Although, is it really… such a terrible thing?

Let me leave the controversial for later and concentrate on fashion for now. What do we have? We have sculptural suits, we have fur, we have tie-dye fabrics, we have old-fashioned grey ensembles and “Marie Antoinette” dresses. When I put it this way the collection certainly sounds like a disaster. And it might have been a disaster indeed, unless it was tied up with one ultimate concept – Dior iconic look. Paying respect to the founder, Simons employs three unshakable attributes of classic Dior fashion – corset, wide skirt and highlighted waist. Yet of course, as I would have expected from Simons, he simplifies them. He strips them down: the corsets are loosened up, the crinoline is mostly taken off and the waist is accented gently rather than vigorously. Somehow It feels like letting the fresh air into the lungs. It makes me want to take a deep breath. What a wonderful physical act, isn’t it? So simple, but so beautiful and essential. And that is exactly how Simons’ collection appears to be. Please, by no means my words should be taken from feminist perspective. No political implications intended; rather I am simply trying to find an allegory to define beautiful set of clothing.

Despite my eternal love and appreciation for Galliano’s work, once in a life-time I am thrilled to see Haute Couture collection that is wearable. In this particular case the word “wearable” as opposed to “Haute Couture” does not mean cheaper, simpler or lacking. Because as we speak my tumblr dashboard seems to be exploding with hatred coming from zealous fifteen year old fashion “activists”. They are insulted by the fact that Simons’ collection does not contain complexity and pompousness that supposedly determine Haute Couture shows. What am I doing? I am quietly munching on every detail of beautiful shapes, combination of fabrics, stunning hand craft and the mien of pure elegance. I feel there’s no need for me to comment on colours. As long as the qualities mentioned above are in tact, colour is the last thing I care about.

It seems to me that Dior made the right choice after all. So let’s release the past (not all of it), embrace a different (not better or worse) looking future and take a long deep breath. Once in while the change of air is truly healthy.

Catwalk Image Credits @  Detail Image Credits @

  1. Hey, Tess, great to read your opinion. I agree on almost everything, except I didn’t regret Galliano left :), that was too much. Wasn’t it? Even you’re a genius, you have to be nice : ), my bit of moralizing.

    Do you know where I can see the whole show?

    p.s.: nice start!

  2. Thanks so much for your comment! Well, let’s say i do have a regret.. not just about the fact that he’s no longer at Dior, but because the world lost one of the greatest designers.. real natural talent… that is rare. Of course I don’t deny that what he did wasn’t nice. However, the least thing I care about is what kind of person he is, how kind he is or how racist he is.. all I care about is his work; on a pure professional level, no political issues implied. 😉

    You can watch the live stream of the show here Enjoy!

    Thanks again for a lovely comment. Look forward to start reading you!

  3. He was good, but how Stalin used to say: “У нас незаменимых нет”

    Thank you for the link!

    • That’s a good point indeed. Evidently everyone can be replaced and I wouldn’t even dream to argue against Stalin – Вождь народа всегда прав!)) Nevertheless, I think this applies better to the “exact sciences” sort of jobs.. because skills can be replaced.. but some sort of originality or uniqueness is a bit harder to find, don’t you think?

  4. ‘haute couture’ and ‘wearable’ – 2 words that very rarely go together so I’m quite interested in hearing further reaction on this collection. Also, would u say that going back to the past could be a safe choice move?
    Great article, keep writing!

  5. I think entering the House at the time of many doubts and controversy, he didn’t have an easy time. Decision to draw inspiration or in a way “to pay respect” to the founder is a nice way to show loyalty to his new job. At the same time, he managed to create this collection with novelty that shows that he’s got what it takes to run with it and take it further. In short, I can say he’s been very clever.

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