Christian Dior - Haute Couture Fall 2012 Featured

Let the Raf Simons era begin!

PARIS - Raf Simons' haute couture debut at Christian Dior was not a was a smash! The industry outsider from the humble beginnings of furniture design showed the couture crowd that he was more than capable of helming the Dior empire. Case and point with the new Dior Fall 2012 couture collection. A celebration of the maison's soft and standout colours, form-fitting Fifties silhouettes and Old Hollywood glam.

Calling his first collecion a blueprint for the future, the Artistic Director from Antwerp brought his experience at Jil Sander along with his own menswear collection to the playing field. Paying homage to legacy of maison Dior's founder. Simons spotlighted Christian Dior's role as an architect of sculptural women's clothing, creating majestic column dresses, voluptuous hoop skirts and contrast gowns with sheer tops and heavy trains.  "I’ve been very much involved with the period that Christian Dior defined, 1947 to 1957, and it seemed to me very normal to jump into it and work with that, to work with the archive and see how it can be modernized." Simons told's Tim Blanks after the show.

Anyone who is anyone in fashion showed up to the show to see what the newcomer would bring to the storied house. Fellow LVMHer Marc Jacobs, Donatella Versace, Pierre Cardin, Lanvin's Alber Elbaz and Azzedine Alaïa were alongside Miss Dior spokeswoman Marion Cotillard and Sharon Stone. The venue itself was a big statement with the walls covered in a myriad of different coloured scented flowers - a tribute to Christian Dior's own love of flowers.

As we see less and less of it in fashion, where does couture fit into this day and age, especially from a high fashion institution like Dior? When polled about his thoughts, Simons offered this: "I think couture is very much about curating something unique for women. Fashion is so mass-produced now; I hope there will come a refocus on how people see couture. And I would also hope for a new focus on the craft."

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