Set within a magnificent mountain like 43,000 square foot tent covered in 400,000 stalks of Delphinium flowers (courtesy Bureau Betak), the setting for the Dior SS16 show was nothing short of a spectacle. Inside, the feminine, floral décor was juxtaposed with a futuristic runway and seating of all white with four swivel arms covered in fifty projectors. And this juxtaposition was exactly what the clothes were all about. Masculine versus feminine, future versus the past.
The show opened with a cotton lingerie style top and shorts in all white, featuring scalloped hems. Worn under stiff organza dresses, sweaters and jackets, this look was recurrent throughout the collection. What I loved about the collection were contrasts seen. The masculine bar jackets came with flowy micro pleats at the hems. There were Raf's versions of parka jackets. He stripped them from their utilitarian and rugged status and instead made them soft, girly and desirable as hell. Who wouldn't want to wear a pleated silk parka? Scallop hemmed and cropped sculptural sweaters featuring oversized and rounded shoulders paired with feminine organdie shorts or a high low shirt dress further proved the designer's love for contrasts. Finally, a Dior show is never complete without exceptionally tailored suits. And so there were three piece pinstriped pantsuits (one worn with a funky leather top)and extremely trendy short suits.
Meanwhile, the accessories will end up being the season's most coveted. No surprises there. Scarf like chokers with dangling 1947 and the number 8 metal charms will be seen on every IT girl and replicated by every high street chain there is. New bag shapes were also seen, one being a tube shaped purse with the cannage detailing on the sides which is now on my wishlist.
In an era that is fuelled by fast fashion, Raf took the road less travelled. His focus was on garment construction and techniques. He wanted to create clothes that won't be replaced. "My heart goes very much to trying to concentrate on a wardrobe that you can evolve with," explains the designer on an interview posted on Dior Mag. And that is just what he delivered.