Did Raf Simons Go Wrong: Is Dior Couture Undone

NY Mag’s The Cut called it “surprisingly wearable.” Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller called it “couture for the people.” But, the top comment on Style.com’s review did not mince words, and declared of Raf Simons Dior Fall 2014 Couture Collection,

“… Raf Simons continues to stab, maim and outright murder the House of Dior every six months…I’ve seen more inspiration and excitement in the Spiegel catalogs my grandmother used to collect in the 80s…. BOOOOOO!!!!!!!!”

In an ambiance of 150,000 orchids and a reflective white floor, Raf Simons attempted to bridge time, by taking inspiration from 18th-century France with voluminous skirts, from NASA with space-age shoulder patches and gloves, and with futuristic metallic belts that seem borrowed from a Star Wars movie set. Altogether, Raf’s concocted time machine failed to deliver “Marty and Doc” coherently to the runway, set to present day.

“For me it didn’t hold together like some of his previous collections.” Said Christina Binkley of the Walls Street Journal in an on air interview. She continued, “I thought there were some piecemeal pieces that were great; some wonderful coats that might sell to the ladies who can afford them. But as a whole I liked some of his previous collections more, actually.”

Some of the coats, stylishly fitted and embroidered, stood out for their exquisite craftsmanship and desirability.

Women’s Wear Daily’s may be the only review that offered a raison d’etre for the collection. “His goal is not only to turn out exquisite clothes enticing to Dior’s tony global clientele, but to do so within a framework that challenges and seeks to advance current notions of modernity — within the ethos of Dior.” According to WWD, Simons says backstage, “It felt like a challenge to look further back in history and see how I could modernize certain aesthetics. That is my constant drive, to make it younger and make it relevant to women in their lives today. Always, to be modern.”

The name “Marie Antoinette” was a recurring theme, mentioned almost gushingly in several reviews, including in Suzy Menkes of Vogue International. Interestingly, it’s a little fitting. Not just because of the ultimate fate the name conjures, but the name’s popular perception is as discordant as Raf Simons Dior 2014 Couture Collection.

The irony of the Madame Antoinette name-dropping was not lost on Veronique Hyland of NY Mag’s The Cut, who declared, “Is the bourgeois dressing the new rebellion?” If that’s not enough, referring to Ms Menkes title for her review “An Alleluia Moment For Dior”, a commenter retorted “its not an ‘Alleluia Moment’,its more a R.I.P.,Amen”

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