For Dior’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection at Paris Fashion Week, Raf Simons showed a paired down collection among a meadow of blue delphiniums in the courtyard of the Carré du Louvre. Paris’ fashion elite sat along the front row with celebrities like Rihanna, Elizabeth Olsen and Emilia Clark, while models in simplistic, and seasonally-appropriate pieces, came down the runway. Compared to last season’s bold line of stripes and fur, this collection was innocent, soft and simple.
“I wanted the collection to have a purity to it,” says Simons. “To simplify and concentrate on a line that expressed an idea of femininity, fragility and sensitivity without sacrificing strength and impact; there might be a simplicity in how the collection looks, but it is extremely complex in terms of technique. There are literal layers of the past, from the Victorian-style underwear layered under the transparent bias cut dresses and the Bar jackets and rough knits, but for me it still all feels oddly futuristic and strangely romantic. Like this woman is about to travel through space and time.”
It was a well-balanced collection. Inspiration from the South of France allowed the collection to have a lightness to it, while cleanly tailored lines and embellished jackets kept everything luxurious and modern. He made reference to the Victorian themes that he touched on during Dior’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection, with a line of scalloped undergarments and dresses with high necks or puffed sleeves. Evening wear was soft and sheer to highlight the pieces hiding just underneath.
While the collection was undoubtedly a success, the ease and lightness of the pieces didn’t offer instant visual impact. Nothing popped out as a must have from the collection—it was neutral and subtle, which allowed it to shine as a whole rather than hold the spotlight to a few stand out-pieces. Looks melded into one another and due to this simplicity left room for the Dior woman to make her own individual mark on the collection.