Simons says get serious about colour with deft Dior autumn/winter collection

The collection was aimed squarely at contemporary city living

Models present creations from the autumn/winter  Ready to Wear Collection by Belgian designer Raf Simons for Christian Dior. Photograph: Nicolas Bouvy/EPA

Models present creations from the autumn/winter Ready to Wear Collection by Belgian designer Raf Simons for Christian Dior. Photograph: Nicolas Bouvy/EPA

Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 10:46

“I wanted to pursue powerful tailoring . . . and present women with freedom and possibilities in the way they dress.” That was the mission statement of Raf Simons, artistic director, at the Christian Dior autumn/ winter collection held on Friday in the Musée Rodin with Rihanna in the front row in red fur coat, black suspenders and stockings.

The collection was aimed squarely at contemporary city living: gone were the florals and ball skirts of last season and in their place straight-laced coats with corset detailing, gilets, pinstripe jackets and silk dresses, clothes relevant to the everyday demands of stylish working women.

Striking palette
As a serious collector of art, the Belgian designer has a real feeling for colour and it showed in the bold combinations of his winter palette. Along with handsome black, grey or camel cashmere coats were those in more vivid shades – one in bright blue, for instance, was shrugged over a green trouser suit, another in bright yellow stood out over a black jacket. Even shoes were in bright Memphis colours.

The tailoring was impeccable, mixing masculine rigour with feminine sensuality. Abstract reference to the famous Bar jacket of the 1940s came in the shape of inky silk dresses with tight bodices and flared skirts, while others were quilted head-to-toe giving a new look to an everyday fabric.

One of the most striking day dresses was in shocking pink, a jewelled slit at the knee revealing a green skirt underneath while for evening spangled T-shirt dresses were light, delicate and romantic. As a collection, this was a tour de force.

Crowd pleater
Another standout show was that of Issey Miyake. Accompanied by live music from a spring guitar, models came out bearing half moon bags from which they withdrew circular shapes that transformed into pleated dresses drawing a round of applause.

It was a way of announcing that pleating, for which the label is synonymous, is back, being refashioned in new curvilinear forms. With bouncy tunics and skirts, graphic African prints and blue metallic heeled boots, even the models were smiling.

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