Raf Simmons has had many “firsts” recently. This was his first Resort collection for Christian Dior, and it was his first ever visit to Monaco, where he previewed the collection (in a purpose-built minimalist structure) at the personal invitation from Princess Charlene. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the glorious sunset gave way to a gunmetal storm of clouds. Since the collection was a such a dynamic forward movement for Dior, many thought the lack of sunshine made it easier to focus on the stunning clothing (with many bright colors that were their own form of sunshine).
Simmons has slowly infused his design aesthetic into the collections, all done while maintaining the standards and look of “Dior”. This season he challenged himself with the Dior staple lace, which has never been part of his repertoire. Not wanting the simple romance of lace he juxtaposed it with bold stripes and geometric shapes of color. He laid it over bandeau tops and metallic tap shorts for a carelessly sporty effect, which he named Sun Wear. “I wanted to do something with lace for a long time, but to twist it, create something more edgy, so it almost becomes futuristic,” said Simons at the show venue to Vogue.
Another prevalent theme was sheer chiffon revved with vibrant colors, broad foil panels, acid green inserts and bold prints lending the pieces a beautifully contradictory feel. There was an ode to Princess Grace in the collection’s vivid yellow, orange, and blue silk scarves by Stephen Jones, and a gorgeous cropped blouson with an abbreviated kimono sleeve, couture and casual in one compact package, which one could easily picture on the Princess. Their was a true sense of freedom with zippers strewn about (one favorite was a peachy sundress in a satiny twill) and hemlines cut on the asymmetric.
What a sublime marriage Raf Simmons and Christian Dior is turning out to be!