Then & Now Special: Raf Simons for Dior

A few days ago Raf Simons debuted his much anticipated Christian Dior haute couture collection.  Style.com reported hysteria outside on the street, and a front row occupied by a  long list of leading designers, such Alber Elbaz, Marc Jacobs and Riccardo Tisci among others. Despite John Galliano’s downfall, his tenure at the House of Dior produced some amazing, unforgettable collections. Over the years it became evident that Galliano studied the work of Christian Dior relentlessly, his designs remained faithful to the tradition of the house but of course reflected his original vision.

Naturally Simons had to step into really big shoes, and he did so in a most elegant and sophisticated manner.  I’ve enjoyed watching his career evolve from a transgressive men’s wear designer to the couturier he is today. It’s been a beautiful journey.

I’ve put together this special Then & Now as a tribute to Simons, who is, in my opinion, one of the most important living designers. His debut collection stays true to the legacy of the house but offers an impressive personal interpretation. Although the cuts, silhouettes, prints, and fabric treatments heavily relay on the house’s archive, they seem refreshing and new- this is where is strength and talent truly shine.

(left)” Zelie” cocktail dress autumn/winter1954. House of Dior, designer: Christian Dior. (right)  Haute Couture Fall 2012, House of Dior, designer: Raf Simons. Image source: style.com

(left) Vogue, January 1949, Christian Dior suit (right) Haute Couture Fall 2012, House of Dior, designer: Raf Simons. Image source: style.com

(left) Dress, 1960. House of Dior, designer: Yves Saint Laurent.  V&A accession: T.127 to B-1974. (right) Haute Couture Fall 2012, House of Dior, designer: Raf Simons. Image source: style.com

(left) evening gown, Sprin/Summer 1983. House of Dior, designer: Marc Bohan. Image source: FIDM (right) Haute Couture Fall 2012, House of Dior, designer: Raf Simons. Image source: style.com

(left) Dinner Dress, Fall/Winter 1949-1950. MET, accession: 1989. 130.1ab. (right) Haute Couture Fall 2012, House of Dior, designer: Raf Simons. Image source: style.com

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