It's been rumoured for a while now, however I always hoped it was just a rumour- Raf Simons will be leaving Christian Dior. After three years of working with the luxury brand, Simons won't be renewing his contract and instead will work on his other interests and his own brand. His show which he presented in Paris for S/S 2016 was his last show for the French fashion house, and we will now see more of his work with his own label.
His first show was back in 2012, since his first couture show he has earned himself universal critical acclaim; modernizing Dior and bringing new ambassadors such as Rihanna and Jennifer Lawrence.
Below is a quick guide to a few of his shows, in honor of him leaving.
Debut Show - April 2012
A show many will have stuck in their minds, not only for the couture, but also for the location. He presented the collection amidst walls of flowers, each room a different kind, like something out of Alice in Wonderland. The place looked (and smelt amazing). Then there was the clothes- this was Simons first couture collection he'd ever designed and his debut collection.
The collection kept it's traditional silhouettes, but Simons added his stamp too. The dress above was inspired by a painting which they worked hard on to transfer from canvas to material, the painting had also been transferred to coats. The elegant collection also included cigarette trousers paired with big dresses and strapless embroidered gowns with large pockets - architectural and feminine.
Other Favourites with Raf Simons
Spring Summer 2014 - Floral print skirts and high-waisted tailored shorts floated down the middle of the decorated tent in Paris, black jackets were paired with bursts of colour and I think it was a collection that the world really saw Raf's visions more that Diors traditions, unlike his Jill Sanders collections, at Dior he had less space to express himself but this collection we saw more of him than ever before.
Autumn/Winter 2015 - 'A garden of earthly delights' was how Raf invisioned this couture collection, another one of my favourites. He mixed this idea of 'pretty' with something darker, I loved the flow of the dresses and scarf necklines the continual use of black with brighter, louder colours.
The collection was exciting, each look was fresh and new but they all linked to each other, nothing was like anything you'd seen before and that to me is a step towards a perfect collection.
Last Collection - S/S 2016
He's going out on a high note if you're looking at Dior's latest collection, although not my favourite collection, the necklace/chockers (is that what they are?) were a really nice addition to the outfits. The scalloped organdie white two-pieces would be a perfect addition to any wardrobe, and anyone could learn from Simon's scientific layering with knitted jumpers.
As always, Simons accomplished his vision of creating a sense of purity; 'femininity, fragility and sensitivity' makes up his mission statement and I think he did all of these well, not only in this collection but all his collections.
For more on Raf Simons at Dior, I recommend the 'Dior and I' documentary, it's in french so English subtitles are recommended, just like 'McQueen and I' I loved the documentary and seeing the visions of Raf as well as the team that work at Dior, also I feel I know him and the brand more personally now.
After recapping all Raf Simon's achievements at Dior it leads to the question, who will be the next designer at Dior and will they live up to the great line of previous designers?