At Dior Raf Simons is having a bit of an Island of Doctor Moreau moment with his fall/winter 2015 collection. The designer looked hard pressed to construct a line up with a hybrid animal and human slant that moved the house away from its flower-filled past and into something more sinister.
"I wanted that feeling of sensory overload in the collection," recounted Simons in the show notes. "With this animalistic sexual woman wearing a new kind of camouflage."
A collection both sinister and sexy. Okay. Well, then, who better as a front row guest than Dakota Johnson, the lead actress in the BDSM film Fifty Shades of Grey, to underline Simons' sartorial desire and act as a honorary muse for the show. After all, there were a few harness dresses and slashed apart hems on wool tweed skirts that could be construed as nefarious.
But in his heart of hearts, Simons is a minimalist. So his streamlined interpretation of "the sexual" and "the animalistic" this season boiled down to an impressive use of fluo, abstract feline or zebra patterned jacquard knitted dresses, tops and second skin jumpsuits. They might look like a modern day pop art camouflage, but these long and lean pieces were made to never blend into the background. There was also a strong frisson of animal magnetism in the lilac or aqua color washed fur coats and a pink tweed dress that had been devoured by a blush hued fox fur. And the intriguing glossy patent leather garments, fabricated with a stretchy honeycomb structure, had their own unique, slithering, slinky seductiveness.
Flicking through the endless Instagram shots after the show, it also was clear that the collection's thigh high, vinyl boots with their lucite heels went a long way towards giving this collection its maleficent edge. A sensation heightened even further by Michel Gaubert's wicked soundtrack pulled from the horror film It Follows.
This show never really ratcheted up its savage side to a point of fierce, feral femininity. But it did purr with modernity.