Mouret references Deneuve but Miyake's joyous highland fling the unexpected star

Sat, Mar 2, 2013, 00:00

“This collection is ... connected to the passions we share,” said Raf Simons about his second ready-to-wear collection for Dior yesterday, held at the famous Hôtel des Invalides where hordes of spectators and photographers jostled at the entrance for a glimpse of celebrity guests.

Set on a “dreamscape” dominated by gigantic mirrored spheres, the show attempted to associate new takes on the famous “bar” jacket, with references to artists and the periods they reflect; in this case, in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation.

It was a contrivance that only occasionally took fire and mostly in the simplicity and graceful elegance of the daywear, in coats of shapely black crepe, in voluminous tomato red, tailored grey tweed or black and white wool.

The bar jacket was refreshed in wool denim while delicate “memory dresses” in pale pink silk bore prints of Warhol’s female heads or were lightly decorated with jewelled flower motifs. Though pretty, it was difficult to see their modern relevance.

The classic Parisian mix of severity and ease expressed in a demure grey flannel dress was not evident in the knitwear and crochet – what woman would wear thick cabled flounces around the waist? – nor in other more figured items whose cut and shape often seemed overworked.

Catherine Deneuve

Earlier, Roland Mouret – he of the famous Galaxy dress – basing his collection on Catherine Deneuve, focused on strong tailoring, three-dimensional folds, bold colours and “an air of danger”. That meant catlike leopard print dresses with origami-style panels or handsome brocaded black leather coats worn with chignons, kitten heels and quirky thigh-high spats.

Tartans and plaids

But the unexpected highlight was the Issey Miyake show, a joyous highland fling in which abstracted motifs of familiar Scottish tartans and plaids had as much verve as the accompanying reels and jigs manipulated into new musical sounds by the Japanese group Open Reel Ensemble.

From the opening Prince of Wales check suits and boyish coats trimmed with candy stripes to the billowing dresses at the finale, the overall effect of this imaginative romp was fluidity and playfulness with enormous commercial and aesthetic appeal.

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