Raf Simons Starts Strong with Dior Couture

It wasn’t long ago that we reported, after rumors about Azzedine Alaia, then Marc Jacobs, then Alexander Wang that Dior had FINALLY settled on a creative director in Raf Simons. And it turns out, that unlike so many things in fashion these days, the result was worth the wait.

This past Monday Raf Simons officially started his tenure as Dior’s creative director with his highly anticipated debut of the Dior haute couture collection in Paris. The 54 outfits that came down the runway evoked the energy and signature styles that Christian Dior himself infused into his eponymous label in the first decade of its existence. Classic Dior staples like cigarette pants and bar jackets evoked the architectural purity in construction and refined approach to femininity that Dior himself was so well known for. Mr. Simons even channeled Dior’s preference for pockets and loyalty to intense colors through his own modern lens. In many ways the new creative director has hit the reset button on the renown label, casting aside tangents that previous creative directors sent the company down in favor of revitalizing the essence of the renown French label, albeit with his own futurist edge.

Thus far the reaction from the fashion world has been one of delight accented with a bit of relief.

“I haven’t been this excited to see a show in a long time, ” said Emmanuelle Alt, editor of French Vogue, “Today, I’m going to see something I’ve never seen before.”

“Raf’s so shy. Sometimes I don’t think he realizes how good he is,” echoed fellow designer Jil Sander.

Ms. Alt and Ms. Sander were joined by a veritable who’s who of the fashion world with show attendees including Alber Elbaz, Donatella Versace, Riccardo Tisci, Diane von Furstenburg and even some of Mr. Simon’s rumored competition such as Azzedine Alaia and Marc Jacobs. Stars of the silver screen such as Jennifer Lawrence, Sharon Stone and Marion Cotillard rubbed elbows with the most powerful man in fashion, and Raf Simon’s new boss Bernard Arnault and from the photos we’ve seen everyone was as pleased as the reviewers with the styles that came down the runway.

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