Raf Simons deserves a pat on his back as he presents a brilliant first collection of dresses for Dior at the Paris Haute Couture Week
All the hot shots of the fashion industry were all praises for the fresh and modern approach Raf Simons has brought to the feminine extravagance of a grand French atelier.
The designer greeted oversized expectations for his first Dior collection with a decidedly architectural look that reveled in sumptuous understatement. The house has been without a permanent designer since former star John Galliano fell from grace over a drunken, racist tirade.
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The show saw the likes of French actress Marion Cotillard and Sharon Stone in the front row.
Rival designers Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, Louis Vuitton's Marc Jacobs, Versace's Donatella Versace and even veteran couturier Pierre Cardin were also on hand for the Simons debut in a grand Parisian mansion festooned with flowers. "Flower women" is how Christian Dior referred to his revolutionary 1940s creations that used an abundance of fabric cinched in tightly at the waist to create his "New Look" silhouette that personified post-war elegance and excess.
That floral idea, deconstructed, found its way into the new autumn/winter 2012-2013 Haute Couture collection, as the designer known for minimalism used dramatic colour and delicate workmanship to revive Dior's vision.
Models navigated a catwalk that wound through five color-coded rooms whose walls were covered floor to ceiling with either blue delphiniums, white orchids, red and orange roses or pink roses and peonies.
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