logo

Raf Simons at Christian Dior: Pure Brilliance

“When I’m married to a house, I will fully embrace its original intention, its original heritage and meaning. I’m interested in creativity, the evolution of creativity and the relationship between creativity and the times we live in.”

Raf Simons on his new post at Christian Dior

The Fur Insider was thrilled to hear that one of our all-time favorites, the Belgian Raf Simons, was newly anointed as the next design master behind Christian Dior. We see this not only as good news for the label, but for the global fashion landscape as well.

Raf Simons for Christian Dior - A Love-Match made in Fashion Heaven
Raf Simons
Christian Dior draping directly onto a model
Raf Simons for Jil Sander, fall 2012-winter 2013
Raf Simons for Jil Sander, fall 2012-winter 2013

"La Cigale", Christian Dior, fall-winter 1952–53 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Mark our words, this news already has more than a few designers/labels (really, almost everyone) deeply reflecting on how to design clothes that complement the human form rather than merely presenting ill-fitting costume-like creations to wow editors.

Jil Sander by Raf Simons, spring-summer 2012
Jil Sander by Raf Simons, spring-summer 2012
Evening ensemble, Christian Dior, fall-winter 1954

Evening ensemble, Christian Dior, fall-winter 1954 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Raf Simons for Christian Dior - A Love-Match made in Fashion Heaven
Raf Simons

Dress, Christian Dior, 1948 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Jil Sander by Raf Simons, spring-summer 2011
Jil Sander by Raf Simons, spring-summer 2011

Media outlets are already cranking-out the “minimalist thing” with every article, noting the fact that Raf Simons, a native of Neerpelt, Belgium, studied industrial and furniture design rather than fashion before starting his eponymous menswear line in the mid-1990s. How can he, then, fit at Christian Dior? – they ask. Please. They should do their homework before quacking nonsense.

Raf Simons for Christian Dior - A Love-Match made in Fashion Heaven
Raf Simons

"A" ensemble, Christian Dior, spring-summer 1955 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Raf Simons, fall 2010-winter 2011
Raf Simons, fall 2010-winter 2011
"Claro", Christian Dior, fall-winter 1957–58

"Claro", Christian Dior, fall-winter 1957–58 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Raf Simons, fall 2011-winter 2012
Raf Simons, fall 2011-winter 2012

"Désirée", Christian Dior, spring-summer 1951 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Both may have more in common than is initially known in the common consciousness. What many may not know is that Christian Dior himself, started as a student at the Sciences Polytechniques in Paris (the big business school), but ditched it to become a gallerist instead! Yes, he started his career as an “art man,” opening a gallery with his friend Jacques Bonjean, showcasing and selling the works of 20th century pioneers like Raoul Dufy, Georges Braque, Paul Klee, Salvador Dalí, Alberto Giacometti, Juan Miró, and Maurice Utrillo.

"Bar suit", Christian Dior, 1947 , photo Willy Maywald

"Bar suit", Christian Dior, 1947 , photo Willy Maywald

Jil Sander by Raf Simons, spring-Summer 2011
Jil Sander by Raf Simons, spring-Summer 2011

Suit, Christian Dior, spring-summer 1948 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Monsieur Dior then began working for the famed couturiers Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong consecutively. Monsieur Dior coincidentally began to use men’s suiting fabric at Piguet for the womenswear. Raf Simons, after going to industrial and furniture design school, began working in Paris for the highly creative Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck (one of Paris’ most creative and influential designers, held in similar regard as Martin Margiela and Jean-Paul Gaultier), before starting his menswear line.

"Dali", Christian Dior, fall-winter 1949–50

"Dali", Christian Dior, fall-winter 1949–50 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Jil Sander by Raf Simons, fall 2012-winter 2013
Jil Sander by Raf Simons, fall 2012-winter 2013
Dress, Christian Dior, fall-winter 1956–57

Dress, Christian Dior, fall-winter 1956–57 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Dress, Jil Sanders by Raf Simons, spring-summer 2009

Dress, Jil Sanders by Raf Simons, spring-summer 2009 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

"Diamant Noir", Christian Dior, fall-winter 1948–49 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Monsieur Dior was known for his refined taste and love of extreme femininity, often translated with myriads of color, which he utilized to great effect – something Raf Simons also successfully demonstrated during his 10 year tenure at Jil Sander. Both designers are very comfortable with color and apply it beautifully throughout their collections.

Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons acknowledges the audience at the end of Jil Sander Spring-Summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection during the Women’s Milan fashion week, Sept. 24, 2011, Giuseppe Cacace, AFP : Getty Image

Evening sweater, Christian Dior Colifichets, 1950s (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Jil Sander by Raf Simons – color burst
"Comedie Italienne", Christian Dior, spring-summer 1951

"Comedie Italienne", Christian Dior, spring-summer 1951 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Then comes the construction. From intricate to seemingly simple, both men know how to cut and to innovate with great constructions, making the clothing both sculptural and practical. Clothing needs to move with its wearer, and we shall see it first-hand with Mr. Simons’ upcoming Christian Dior Haute Couture collection in July.

"Pisanelle", Christian Dior, fall-winter 1949–50

"Pisanelle", Christian Dior, fall-winter 1949–50 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Jil Sander by Raf Simons, fall 2012-winter 2013
Jil Sander by Raf Simons, fall 2012-winter 2013
"Cygne Noir", Christian Dior, fall-winter 1949–50

"Cygne Noir", Christian Dior, fall-winter 1949–50 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

We have witnessed many ill-conceived pairings of popular designers with lauded fashion houses. We are about to witness an intelligent pairing that will bring back Christian Dior’s exclusivity… the stuff that dreams are made of.

"Nuit d'Août" (1954) and "Cecil Beaton" (1951), Christian Dior, (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

 

Comments ( 4 )

Leave a Reply