Women of the world, or more specifically women from the world of couture, were Raf Simons’s inspiration for his Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Dior collection presented in Paris early Monday.
For his American client he included a bold sportiness, an Asian influence was evident in the construction of garments and high-tech fabrics, and Africa was his reference for playfulness and color. But for Europe, he looked to La Parisienne—a nod to the history of the house. Couture might not have a commercial reality, but Simons did what every good designer should do: he thought of his customer first.
All this translated into quite the modern wardrobe, sending traditional theatrics and costumes out the window. Instead, this was fresh and quite sexy: dresses were off the shoulder, fabric was draped and clung to the body, skirts were split, and sheer panels were used—all wrapped up in a nice ladylike Dior package, of course.
“My main aim is to bring a sense of reality back to haute couture,” Simons said in the media release. “This collection is about focusing on the reality of the woman herself, including her culture and personality; it is not the reality of just wearing the clothes but how a woman chooses to wear them; the liberation of choice and reflecting who she actually is.”
To further explore the theme, Simons commissioned photographers Patrick Demarchelier, Willy Vanderperre, Paolo Roversi, and Terry Richardson to produce the collection’s accompanying imagery. The result was a dynamic projection timed perfectly with each exit. Tracks from Kanye West’s Yeezus blasted, and the audience tapped their feet to the beat.
There has been some concern about the future of couture—but today Simons proved that the future is nothing to worry about.