For the fall-winter 2014-15 ready-to-wear collection by Raf Simons, the petites mains in the Dior ateliers put their savoir-faire to the service of a highly contemporary style, inspired by streetwear codes.
It's a ceremonial procedure that seems to have remained unchanged since Christian Dior showed his very first collection on 12 February 1947. In the Dior ateliers, located in the house's historic heart at 30 Avenue Montaigne, each collection follows the same steps and the same rites, in an eternal cycle of perpetuation of exceptional savoir-faire . From Raf Simons' sketches to the final fittings, at which the designer decides on the last adjustments to each garment as it's readied to be shown, it's the petites mains who give life to the collection, interpreting each detail of the design, constructing the prototypes in white canvas before setting about building each creation stitch by stitch. And yet each new collection remains a whole new challenge for the ateliers to overcome, a call to push the limits of their expertise. This time round, in a spirit of creative fusion, it was the turn of urban codes to shake up the traditions of couture. And the house's different ateliers tackled this exercise of hybrid innovation with masterful aplomb.
And so, in the atelier tailleur , charged with the exacting architecture of jackets and coats, the complex construction of the Bar jackets was given fresh life through a system of lacing borrowed from sportswear, which accentuates the feminine proportions all the bit more. In the atelier flou , where soft dressmaking is the order of the day, this sporty lacing met the delicate and almost forgotten art of corsetry, with a contemporary take in which the dress is shaped to the line of the body, but yet leaves it free to move naturally. Quilting was also reinvented and redefined the architecture of dresses: investing colored crêpes and silks, it became a motif of fantasy, whether imitating the house's famous cannage or the silhouette of a naked man, all while lending cocktail dresses a sporty and glamorous allure that was simply spectacular.