This isn't your mother's Dior—or couture. The Dior that Raf Simons presented in Paris yesterday was infused with an innovative perspective that haute couture has long been waiting for. Equally intriguing was the spectacle surrounding the show: fashion powerhouses (Vogue's Anne Wintour, Lanvin's Alber Elbaz, Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Donatella Versace), A-listers (Sharon Stone, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Lawrence) and even royalty (Princess Charlene of Monaco) were all on-hand to witness the new artistic director's remarkable debut.
Unlike the androgynous SS13 menswear that Simons presented just days before for his namesake label, the designer surprised the crowd with an ultra-feminine range that encourages women to veer from the ever-present minimalist trend and unapologetically deck the heck out. Silhouettes were volumnous by way of peplum tops and elegant gowns with full skirts, which were all punctuated with either floral embellishments, geometric overlays or subtle cutouts. Simons' Jil Sander roots appeared in the form of vibrant color, which was displayed in a red-hot belted coat, a long-sleeved canary yellow dress, and—something rarely seen in couture—tie-dye.
As with any Simons' collection, there's always one blaring takeway. The femininty of peplums and gowns were balanced by straight-legged tuxedo pants, which was an interesting touch and something I'm sure we'll be seeing more of both on and off the runway. The brilliant hot pink number above with a front slit for placing hands in pockets is the perfect representation of Dior's traditional past and Simons' game-changing future. See the complete collection here.