Heaps of people booted about Raf Simons’ Dior debut last week, and I don’t mean in a positive way. As usual, the majority of reviews from those who were actually on the front row were positive (so much so that I was only able to read a handful of them before they all began to merge into one another), and it was only really on TFS that the claws came out. Oh yeah, they really dug into Simons. It seemed that the popular opinion on the forum was that Simons’ first contribution was an insult to the very notion of couture. Lots of people are clearly still crying over the fact that Galliano has left Dior. This is great news for people like me who, although acknowledging the immensity of Galliano’s talent, are really not into the whole meringue-y, taffeta-explosion princess look. And that isn’t just what couture’s all about, you get me?
So, of course, what you make of it is all down to personal taste. Personally, I thought that it was a beautiful collection; so clean, modern and sophisticated. This is what contemporary couture should look like. It was all rather reminiscent of classic Dior HC, due to its lack of Galliano gaudiness and Raf’s clever invocation of the house’s archives.
The idea of Simons doing couture was always going to be difficult to digest — he is to minimalism what Galliano was to ostentatiousness — especially having witnessed (and become accustomed to) all of the drama that Galliano/Gaytten brought to the table. However, change happens. Some take that harder than others. Raf is one of several designers who are changing the game and presenting us with something fresh and relevant.
I think it’s kinda important, too, to remember that this was Simons’ first haute couture collection ever, so you’ve got to applaud him for producing something so divine despite his lack of experience in the field. Also, Raf’s AW12 offering is so much better than what Gaytten came up with for SS12 couture. Who actually buys dresses like this , anyway, and actually wears them?