A woman twirls around like a graceful ballerina in a voluminous dress, and, right after, we can admire a few clips from that famous 1947 fashion show. Here's a first approach with one of the most important revolutions in fashion history: the glorious New Look.
Raf Simons wasn't the obvious candidate to become creative director at Christian Dior. He was known especially to those working for menswear, whereas Dior's work had a great impact on femininity. Simons have always dealt with the ready to wear world, but Dior is famous for his high fashion masterpieces. Raf Simons wants women to move comfortably in their clothes. Dior gowns, au contraire, are stiff, and full of layers.
The New Look is opulent, and the Belgian designer is erroneously reduced to a minimalist just because he has worked for Jil Sander. Most people were in fact skeptical about how this part of his career could influence his work for the French fashion house, including myself.
Raf Simons would never compare himself to Monsieur Dior. He is honoured to be "part of the family", and he knows it won't be easy. He feels the weight of responsibility, and has very little freedom due to the strong identity of the brand. He has to look at old pictures, old clothes, and then visits the house in Normandy the designer has grown up in, and that is now a museum.
Both of them are joined by the passion for flowers. Christian Dior inherited it from his mother, and claims he has designed flower-like women. Inspired by Jeff Koons works of art, Raf Simons decides to cover in flowers the walls of a private house located in Avenue d'Iena, imaging what an incredible smell they would have exhaled during the show.
They are both art enthusiasts. Simons can't live without art. This time he is including a few Sterling Ruby paintings into his collection. When told they are very difficult to print on fabric, he answers his work is "New Couture". It requires experimentation.
Let's talk about the fashion show. Center parted straight hair replaced 1940s curls. Forget about Pat McGrath 1920s-30s inspired crazy makeup we saw with John Galliano, because all we have here is made of pop colours, and pastels. Dior's beloved stilettos become sculptural heels. Simons gowns are lighter, and shorter.
Watching Christian Dior Fall 2012 Couture Fashion Show for the first time left me pensive. I had to watch this documentary, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to - eventually - see things in a different light. This movie is striking, indeed. I adore the fact seamstresses admire Monsieur Dior so much. It is like he is still around them while they are working. We can often hear Christian Dior's voice-over, and see him in the atelier through flashbacks.
I love Simons' sharp sense of humour. Documentaries can be quite boring, and repetitive sometimes, but this is not. He is so funny!
He looks calm, and shy, but totally knows what to do. He had barely 8 weeks to create a high fashion collection. Pure madness, but it turned out great. I appreciate his way of combining tradition and modernity in general. He has successfully brought his own aesthetics in a historical fashion house. We should keep in mind he isn't neither John Galliano nor Christian Dior. I guess this is why we were confused in the first place. He has worked for Jil Sander, but he isn't just a minimalist. He works for Dior, but he has his own personal world, and cultural heritage.
Did you like the show? Have you already watched the movie? If so, what do you think about it?