Past and Present: Dior Ready to Wear for Spring/Summer 2015

Since joining Dior as creative director in 2012, Raf Simons has increasingly injected his personal style into the French fashion power-house. For Spring/Summer 2015, Simons drew lessons from French history.

Taking inspiration from the 18th century French court, Raf Simons’ Paris Fashion Week models wore smock coats, broderie anglaise and pannier skirts. The collection was unsurprisingly a little different from Paris Fashion Week’s other offerings; that, Simons explained, was the point. “In this moment in time I feel very inspired with the past…” Simons said backstage, “It’s something that I [currently] find very inspiring because it’s quite a contrast with what is generally happening [in fashion].”

If Raf Simons had one eye cast behind him he also had one trained firmly ahead, resulting in historic-futuristic garments: floral jumpsuits, cuff sleeves replaced with striking cuff bracelets, smock coats imagined sleeveless and in vibrant color, and worn alongside loose tailored skate-style shorts. Simons eschewed the discomfort inherent in strict historical dress – rib-crushing corsets and so forth – explaining that he is, “Very against restricting the body.”

Comfort went hand-in-hand with couture this season, the designer admitting that he drew inspiration for the Spring/Summer ready-to-wear wardrobe from his earlier couture collection for Dior. “By beginning with the ingredients and the form language of the couture, but going further,” Simons said, “I wanted the ready-to-wear to feel more modern, more dynamic, more real – I wanted it to be made available to a wider audience.”
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