A few weeks ago Raf Simons commented that he felt the Dior woman hadn’t yet been immortalised in quite the same way, as say, Chanel’s lady. With the title of creative director only under his belt for a few months and a mere two collections it’s no surprise that such a thinker as he was still searching for that instantly recognisable visual definition for the 67-year old Parisian brand. You know, a kind of fashion X Factor.
So with the New Year treat of Dior’s first campaign under Raf, can we see him inching ever closer to sealing the look? Of course! We predicted that Simons would continue with his no gimmicks and no frills tack (at least, not of the flouncy Galliano kind) and this series of surreal but decidedly minimal shots certainly don’t stray from the path.
Raf has entrusted photographer and fellow Belgian Willy Vandeperre, with whom he had worked on various Jil Sander campaigns, to lens this debut for Spring Summer 2013, and signed Anna Martynova, Marie Piovesan, Daiane Conterato, and Daria Strokous as the new models for a new age. The girls may be a few steps away from the status of Dior’s girls of the past – like Karlie Kloss or Gisele – but you get the impression this is for the purpose of looking at the clothes (shock!) and not being side-tracked by lavish surroundings, over-styling or the impact of a well-known face.
In addition to the looks following the precise and pared-back ensembles Raf sent down the runway, the set is also dressed plus simple and we wager that the bouquet (which refers back to the rose-covered walls of Raf’s first couture show for the house), chairs, curtains and lighting fixtures all mean something far deeper than our simple obsession with the tuxedos or full post-war skirts. Maybe the fact that there are four models featured says the new Dior girl isn’t a fearsome fashionista lone-wolf - she dresses with her friends and feels comfortable doing so.
Maybe the cut-out walls suggest the different layers of Dior’s 'rebirth'. And if we take a cue from dream interpretation, those Magritte-style clouds signify that everything down the road will be good. A nice message for Simons’ sure-to-be-bright future at the brand, right? Theorise or not, they’re pretty pictures and even prettier clothes. Sold.