The detailing is unfathomably meticulous; the cuts, flawless. Each look in the spring-summer 2014 collection testifies to the excellence of the Christian Dior haute couture ateliers, located at the historic address of 30 Avenue Montaigne.
At Dior, the expertise of the ateliers is essential to the making of the exceptional haute couture clothing, with some pieces necessitating several thousand hours of work: produced to order and entirely by hand, each one is as unique as the woman wearing it. The atelier flou – which works light fabrics, draping, fluid dresses – collaborates closely with the tailoring atelier – specializing in structured pieces – to give life to these garments of a rare complexity, through which the great savoir-faire of Dior couture is expressed.
But the expertise of the atelier is, in reality, also crucial to the genesis of a collection. In effect, it's a subtle dance that takes place, from the first sketches, between the designer Raf Simons and the pattern makers. The former explores the frontiers of his creativity through drawing; the latter transpose each garment into three dimensions and must constantly push the limits of their technique.
In this respectful collaboration, the exchanges between the design studio and the ateliers continue until an item achieves the look the designer was seeking. This dialogue, specific to the haute couture, explains the excellence of the house's creations and the constant level of innovation that characterizes them, from an aesthetic as well as technical point of view.
And the Dior ateliers remain the nerve center of all the extraordinary expertise that their artisans possess. They're also the place where each generation of "petites mains" transmits to the next these skills so unique to haute couture. Historically, the house has considered these skills as its most precious asset. Christian Dior cherished these luxury traditions: he worked his whole career to see them brought to life in his work. Raf Simons, today, continues that legacy in the realms of modernity.