28 February 2014 by

Dior Autumn Winter 2014 Show Report: City Lights

A scaffold suspended with rainbow coloured lights met guests as they filed into the Dior show today. They were rather more metropolitan and hi-tech in flavour than last season's jungle of hyper-real flowers. A sign of things to come? Well, yes.

'I wanted to propose a new woman,' artistic director Raf Simons confirmed. 'A woman with power and energy in a very definite way.' Then, sure enough: 'This season is less about the leisure of the garden and more about the pace of the city. I am attracted to the reality of the urban world.'

That world focused very much on tailoring. Trouser suits, masculine overcoats and pencil dresses with slightly exaggerated hips and all cut in traditional menswear fabrics started out in classic black, grey and navy pinstripe but soon moved onto vivid shades including electric blue, neon pink and traffic light red, amber and green.

The sports motif that Simons introduced last season - principally white laces on spike-heeled courts - this time found its way onto at least some of these pieces, criss-crossing along the spine or the sides of the body to suitably dynamic effect and enhancing the (also sporty) new footwear for Autumn.

Very much part of this designer's handwriting for Dior by now is an ease and modernity for eveningwear that decrees an ankle-length trapeze line embroidered silk tulle gown, say, can be worn over nothing more obviously dressed up than a jersey vest. Again this looked great.

Had Mr Simons abandoned the flower girls that he - and indeed Christian Dior before him - has seemed so romantically attached to since he took to the helm of this house? Not at all. A spray of  Jewelled blossom edged the split of an otherwise sober skirt. Quilted empire line dresses in black and navy again and brightest coral, rose and flame all with sweet bouncing hemlines showed that signature too is enduring.

'It's an idea of the romantic and the real, a world of possibilities,' the designer concluded. And it was a very lovely world indeed.


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