Raf Simons latest collection for the house of Dior, couture fall 2016, was nothing short of otherworldly. We've come to expect futuristic designs as fittingly fresh to the times as the 'New Look' designs of Christian Dior himself, and this collection was no exception. What exactly made the show so otherworldly is hard to say. A plush, lilac-colored rug and candy-like orbs set the stage fun a show; nothing overly serious here. But the show that followed wasn't exactly a collection of lighthearted fashion. The clearest, most efficient way I can describe the collection is half inspired by what a peasant would wear in the future, and half influenced by what the wealthy in the future would wear. Let's just say it represents future society and social classes in general. And I say "inspired by what a peasant would wear" and not actually what a peasant would wear because the advancement of a society won't necessarily benefit the unlucky; the poor will still be poor in the future. But, often will fashion romanticize the unfortunate to sell to the prosperous; this collection just happened to put the cart in front of the horse by depicting stylish peasant-wear before the peasants actually wore them.
Earthy elements such as leather, fur, and select colors, mixed unquestionably with more man-made luxurious details, such as gold accessories, pleats, and sculptural silhouettes: a bold hybrid that only Simons could create. Flowing, long-sleeved gowns made of a milky-white yet sheer fabric, oversized tailoring, and a brave combination of textures, including transparent's with knits and fur, added to this cross-breed creature. Not to mention the peculiar motif that dominated the show: an oversized coat with an exaggerated pocket cuff and a singular slit for an armhole, and for the other arm a drape-y fur sleeve, all kept from opening up seemingly by the model's gentle hand tucked between the nonexistent lapels. However strange this may seem, I assure my words do not do the look justice. Also present was what I'd like to see become the silhouette of the season: an a-line, crew-necked, sleeveless, drop-wasted dress, ending just above the ankle. That may seem like a lot in one dress, but it works, which is more than what can be said for a lot of dresses today.
The most otherworldly element to this collection would have to be the craftsmanship. The fastness and superficiality of today effects fashion, perhaps, the most. But these works of art were obviously the result of a significant amount of time and therefore effort put into both the thought and crafting process. The aesthetic of this collection was compliant with past ones, all working to define the "Raf Simons era of Dior," a time that will not be forgotten, but instead referenced as the time when Christian Dior lived again in spirit. Raf Simons may not be as provocative or daring as some other successful designers today, but he shares similar characteristics with Dior, innovation, craftsmanship, and reliability, not to be confused with predictability, making Simons the perfect fit for Dior.
Photos via Vogue.com.