Dior Spring Summer 2016 RTW: A memorable swan song by Raf Simons

Pastel confections


By Wei Yeen Loh

Dior Spring Summer 2016 RTW: A memorable swan song by Raf Simons

There is a certain refined beauty in Raf Simons’ Dior collectionsit isn’t boundary breaking nor does it challenge fashion’s notions in a remotely astounding way, but it encourages you to embrace the romantic yet calming tenor that his clothes evoke.

Dior’s Spring Summer 2016 collection is exactly that. Upon closer look at the collection during the press presentation in Hong Kong recently, be it the sheer bias cut dresses or reinvented Bar jackets, it is obvious that overall simplicity of the collection is meant to be highlighted on the surface. But as with everything Simons does, nothing is done unintentionally. It’s not easy to coalesce references from the past (Victorian-style underwear) while keeping it current, but the technique-driven collection succinctly proves that careful execution of ideas can go a long way. Masculine elements were present in the form of sleeveless jackets and parkas, yet always imbued with a feminine touch such as micro-pleated hemlines.

It isn’t hard to fall in love with what Raf Simons has done for Dior for Spring Summer 2016—I would actually wear rough Shetland knits over the delicate organdie dresses (and you would too, if you saw it up close and personal). Fashion doesn’t have to always be intense conceptual works of art that only a diva is worthy of pulling off while performing on stage, which is why Dior SS16 is refreshing in its own way. Another reason to indulge in his creations? The way he delivers the unpredictable—while the apparel delivers an almost saccharine sentiment, the accessories downplay all of that in the most outré way possible.

Case in point: My eyes feasted upon the plethora of the latest accessories displayed around the showroom, resting a minute longer on the newest metallic gold Diorever tote. It was bold and quite untraditional compared to the rest of the bags—and it was very gold. It stood out ostentatiously next to its sister in black. I was puzzled initially, but I was quickly reminded of the sense of futurism quoted in the collection’s notes. As Simons had said: “…it still all feels oddly futuristic and strangely romantic. Like this woman is about to travel through space and time.” Whether thigh-high patent boots, couture sneakers, or even this season’s pointed-toe mules with an ankle sash—the accessory game that Simons plays might not float everyone’s boats, but one can argue that it isn’t predictably simplistic and obvious. And let’s be honest, no one likes it when things get too obvious.

I do admit, Dior will be missed greatly without Raf Simons at its helm, but I’m excited to find out where the house will be heading to at this point in time. Dior Haute Couture SS16 might have been underwhelming to some, but it was interesting to see how similar the ethos of studio directors Serge Ruffieux and Lucie Meier were with the house’s former creative director. Onwards and upwards, we say!

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