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Versus Hires Jonathan Anderson November 29th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Cacharel Unveils New CEO, in Major Corporate Revamp November 21st, 2012 @ 00:56 AM


Kane Drops Out of Versus in Major Shake-up November 20th, 2012 @ 10:14 AM


Pucci’s Madison Avenue Store Debuts Massive Expansion November 16th, 2012 @ 00:35 AM


Ghesquière Departs Balenciaga in Major Surprise November 05th, 2012 @ 00:43 AM


Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Between Optimism and Fear November 02nd, 2012 @ 00:28 AM


London Unveils Men’s Season Schedule November 01st, 2012 @ 00:36 AM


Azzaro Releases Castello Branco October 25th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Revenue Soars 22 Percent at LVMH in First Three Quarters October 16th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Rykiel Names Geraldo da Conceicao Artistic Director September 21st, 2012 @ 8:12 PM


Brazil’s New London Pop-Up September 21st, 2012 @ 7:20 PM


McQueen Men Returning Home to London September 12th, 2012 @ 7:19 PM


Roitfeld, Mum and Son, Open in Brazil September 07th, 2012 @ 00:54 AM


Berluti Opens to Big-Time Business in London September 06th, 2012 @ 3:27 PM


Stefano Pilati Back with a Bang at Zegna September 05th, 2012 @ 7:10 PM


Hugo Boss Wows in Berlin, Plans for New York July 06th, 2012 @ 00:17 AM


Salvatore Ferragamo: Crusin’ the Louvre June 13th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Michel Klein Gains New Backer; Launches Sunglass Collection June 13th, 2012 @ 00:48 AM


Sykes Jettisoned by Aquascutum; Maurer In at Rabanne June 06th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Christian Dior’s Sexy Minimalism

Godfrey Deeny
September 28th, 2012 @ 6:56 PM - Paris

Get thee ready for the era of sensual minimalism courtesy of Christian Dior.

In an daring display of classy yet experimental fashion, Raf Simons mingled two rather opposing eras, the post war New Look and the striped back '90s to produce a striking new vision for Christian Dior in his debut runway show for the house.

Simons new take was evident well before the show, after images of the De Chirico like white box with indented windows show-space went viral on the Internet on the morning of this show, staged Friday, Sept. 28, in a custom made tent in Paris.

One could not fault Simons' location for lacking symbolism; the show was staged right in front of the tomb of Napoleon, like Simons a provincial youth who had scaled the heights of his profession.

The sense of drama was palpable, as luxury king and Dior majority shareholder Bernard Arnault took his seat between Bernadette Chirac and his daughter Delphine, beside whom sat Roberto De Niro. The thespian sported a thick, gray beard, and was in typically sullen Method Actor form, shooing away any request for an interview. Unlike the collection, which was upbeat and radically feminine.

Pre-show, we asked Arnault what he was expecting? "Creation, beauty, magic!" the legendarily soft-spoken Arnault almost shouted. One should recall, Arnault swiftly decided to hire Simons when the fashion world was abuzz about Hedi Slimane, his own ex-designer at Dior Homme, being hired to design Yves Saint Laurent by the luxury billionaire's greatest French rivals, the Pinault family. High placed LVMH executives had confirmed that they were in talks with Simons last year, and cooled on the idea just as Simons was dismissed from his previous job at Sander. However, the nomination of Slimane effectively forced Dior's hand, necessitating the appointment of a high-profile, critically acclaimed designer. His predecessor at Dior, Bill Gaytten, had done an honorable job steadying the ship after John Galliano's self-implosion, however even if Arnault respected Gaytten's undoubted retail success, that little bit of magic was missing. Simons brought it back today.

Just like at his haute couture debut in July, the show was packed with designers, young and mature, from Dior Homme's Kris Van Assche and Christopher Kane to Diane von Furstenberg and Azzedine Alaia.

Simons opened with nine black looks, a witty series of variations on Dior's "Bar," most spectacularly a silk bustier dress truncated that had poise and oodles of sex appeal.

Throughout, he referenced both the New Looks nipped in waits and flared skirt but cut them saucily, showing lots if leg and areas of neckline - noticeably more risky than Monsieur Dior's rather prim invention.

In the opening section Simons also proved that he is a heavyweight in the tailoring department. Smartly eschewing two-piece suits to avoid old salon proportions, he boldly took his suits and made them into little dresses. Certainly, his best move with this collection fast-forwarding Dior, a generally grand house into a leader of fashion just what Hedi Slimane did for Dior Homme.

And in a season where runways are covered in iridescent fabrics, Simons had the most intriguing - brilliant lime and rose metallic organza ball gowns, cut so short they had to be worn with wool shorts.

Not everything worked. A group of black and pink A line dresses in tulle should really have been edited out, though were still somehow admirable by virtue of their experimental cuts and pleating.

Moreover, the finale earned hearty applause for the designer, who took his bow at a trot, dressed in a vintage blue Helmut Lang jean jackets.

"Sex, freedom, movement and sensuality. A new minimalism. Minimalism has been surrounding me for a long time. I am a '90s kid, so I was there with Helmut Lang and Prada and Jil Sander. And having seen that it is interesting because Christian Dior was freeing up a certain kind of restricted way of dressing. Very straight in terms of morals and sensuality if not forms. So I wanted minimalism that was sensual and fun, not just a white shirt," smiled Simons, proudly rubbing the jeans jacket like a good luck charm. It dated from 1996, "the year I first showed, so it's a lucky one for me."

Technically a lot of things came from Mr. Dior himself, a real architect of fashion who invented new pleats and darts.

"I wanted tailoring but not two pieces. So I wanted a jacket that was actually a dress. They open at the front like a normal jacket but they are worn like dresses," Simons explained, before a swirl of camera crews almost engulfed him.

Post-show, Dior president Sydney Toledano was in an ebullient mood, saying "A reprise of the Bar, but in a whole new range of technical issues. The idea is not to make technology but to give a new light to the house, of lightness, femininity and romanticism, the values that Raf shares with Monsieur Dior."

That, and the magic too.


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