'I wanted a sense this season of a particular group of women, a distinct new tribe, sophisticated but savage at the same time,' said Raf Simons of his collection for Dior.
In the gardens of the Rodin Museum and beneath a scaffold hung with thousands of flowers - silk and the real thing though often painted in colours brighter than nature intended - he did just that.
Here were the tiny shorts Simons sent out for his first ready-to-wear season for Dior fused with sunray pleat skirts in hot shades, shirtwaister jackets cut away from behind to reveal jewelled backs and even cocktail dresses printed with slogans: PRIMROSE PATH read one HYPERREALISM IN THE DAYTIME another.
The spring/summer season has so far been defined by a blend of the haute and the humble, of sportswear and couture with a hefty dose of the spirit of street fashion thrown in. With all the above, Simons appeared to be in his element.
And what of the Dior codes? They were, of course, all present and correct though deconstructed: a bar jacket, cropped or inset with vividly coloured godet pleats printed with tropical blooms, badges stamped with famous Dior motifs including the lily of the valley and houndstooth check pinned to clothes.
The finale, meanwhile, focused on Simons' own contribution since he took to the helm of the great French house. Predominantly in silver, out came the bell-shaped tops worn over cigarette pants, the perfect tuxedo, the overblown elaborate skirt paired with nothing more dressy than a fine knit and more.
'This collection is the idea of twisting, turning and pushing Dior, where the lyrically romantic becomes dangerous; a beautiful rose garden becomes poisonous,' Simons concluded.
Once again, this was a brave and bold move forward.
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