Simons evidently hadn’t finished: he revisited the idea for his spring/summer 2015 ready-to-wear show. Call it a remix, scrambling as it did decades and references into new hybrid garments that allowed observers to scroll through centuries in a single glance.
Simons said his intention was to create something “modern,” but also to question what modern really means. It sounds odd to do so at Christian Dior, considering how it is viewed, namely as bastion of romance and old-school, old world femininity. Then again, Dior’s “New Look” of 1947 wasn’t so new, composed as it was of clothes inspired by the Belle Epoque heyday of Dior’s mother and constructed using methods from the nineteenth century.
The new in Simons’ looks came, he said, from the attitude. That’s a quality that’s ephemeral and difficult to nail down, but at Dior it was evoked through contrasts. An 18th century juste au corps was thrown over a pair of bermuda shorts, the swaggering sleeve of a robe a la Francaise transposed onto a neat suit, while those bubbly Dior dresses were sliced in half and worn with twisted bodices based on t-shirts. The opening exits – white pique cuffed and patched with silk jacquard, like fragments of the past breaking through – set the tone, of forward-thinking fashion energised with elements from the past. In turn, those elements were reactivated. There was nothing costume about those embroidered coats, although they were lifted piecemeal from three centuries hence. They were given a new, vibrant currency. The looks became new.
Paris Fashion Week spring/summer 2015: