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Raf Simons Debuts at Dior

Amidst a fervor of anticipation, Raf Simons debuted his haute couture collection for Dior this past weekend in Paris. With anticipation so great, the pressure was sky high for Simons to redeem the Dior name post-Galliano scandal. It was also an opportunity for Simons to prove himself as a talented yet smart designer. There is no doubt that Simons is a brilliant designer, his work at Jil Sander proved just as much. But the question is, is he a good fit for the Dior fashion house? Despite the hype surrounding his collection, Simon's debut confused me more then anything.  As an avid fan of Galliano's vision during the Dior years, I was left wanting more. His collection illustrated his mastery of structure and construction, skills that served him well at Jil Sander, however I found the translation of those skills over to Dior to fall short. The collection seemed like Simons dove into the Dior archive and in a very formulaic manner, recreated some of the iconic Dior silhouettes with Simons characteristics arbirtarily added in. The man clearly tried hard. But where was the fantasy? The vision? This was haute couture after all, not the time nor the place to fall back on formulaic principles. True artistry has no discernible or explicable formula, or if it does, it should not be so transparent and obvious to the beholder. And in his mechanical, logical manner Simons made sure to display all the various silhouettes however in doing so made the collection seem slightly schizophrenic and surprisingly ready to wear for a couture show. We went from the classic black suit to a Valentino-esque red gown interspresed with some hopeful pieces that came close to hitting the Dior mark. Maybe in time and with a few more Dior seasons under his belt, Simons will do Dior justice. Here are some of the pieces that came close to hitting the Dior mark: By Saima Hasan            

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