For anyone who was fortunate enough to attended the Christian Dior haute couture show Raf Simons created back in July his spring/summer 2015 ready to wear collection for the house shown on Friday must have elicited a feeling of déjà vu. It was the sartorial equivalent of the theory of trickle down economics- i.e. create for the top (couture) and it will trickle down to the needy (ready to wear).
Couture is fashion’s dream factory. It is a place where designers get to play out their most experimental and audacious vestiary visions. It is to be expected, hoped for even, that some of the mind blowing concepts created there would filter into other areas of a fashion house.
This season however it wasn’t just the clothing that echoed its couture predecessor. The mise-en-scène, the styling, even the hair and make up mimicked it. It was a combination of elements that only heightened and solidified this show’s straight-line connection to couture.
But unlike couture, Simons didn’t break up this collection into vignettes. Here his 18th century inspired egg shaped skirts appeared again, if perhaps just slightly less inflated. These flowed into his once delicately embroidered cosmonaut jumpsuits, which this time showed up in a floral print fabric. And the designer’s delicately beaded couture frock coats became more minimalistic versions of their former selves with just a smattering of embroidered embellishments.
These designs will surly be welcomed with open arms by those who were enchanted with the couture show but less so by each garments price tag. Here Simons answered their prayers with attainable alternatives.
For those who searched the show for more original ideas born directly from this collection, the designer supplied a few of those too. The strongest of which was the woven satin ribbon dresses that featured floating voile sections that broke up the textural flow of the garment. Also a series of billowy white cotton shirtdresses embellished with bits of broderie anglaise that were redolent of vintage nightgowns had a youthful purity about them.
The past as seen though the prism of the future, that seemed to be the designer’s goal with this show. A gracefully refracted vision that, by referencing historical design and his own recent work, pushed Dior's fashion ever so slightly past the here and now.