Between the ultramodern setting and the return to the primary spirit of the couture, between the homage to the Bar jacket and the sartorial plucking from around the globe, Raf Simons' inspirations multiplicity of inspirations mix and merge.
By welcoming the guests into a setting that reproduced the decor of 30, Avenue Montaigne, Raf Simons strengthened the link with the very essence of haute couture. That of the era of Christian Dior, when the couturier received his clients in the salons of his couture house. It was a return to the primary purpose of the couture, to the creative process that connected the personality of each client to that of the designer. It was a "Dior confronting the entire world" , being inspired by and addressing the "haute couture clients from different continents and different cultures" was how Raf Simons designed this season. He picked up the thread that Christian Dior had spun in his own time between his Paris house and the rest of the world. A globe trotter in his heart, the couturier liked to travel, in Europe, the United States, to Russia, Brazil, to meet his clients. So many inspirations that served to create the foundations of the house and that continue today to propel Raf Simons' creative energies.
On the runway, the influences mixed together and were reinvented. The folds and drapes of silk evening dressing evoked the taste of Christian Dior as much as the aesthetic of Asian clothing. Turn to traditionally masculine fabrics, houndstooth and (Monsieur Dior's beloved) Prince of Wales check taken on extra-large proportions, re-embroidered on wool dresses.
The cannage motif - the interweaving of horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines and a house icon since 1953 - was reinterpreted in silk embroideries on a silk dress; the result, precise and delicate, seemed as fine as a straw weave. The Jungle print, a signature house motif bearing the influence of fabled muse Mitzah Bricard, was applied in an all-over repeat on a silk evening gown, on long gloves stretching above the elbows, on a scarf knotting at the nape of the neck. The legendary Bar jacket continues to inspire Raf Simons season after season. For fall-winter 2013-14 it comes in a bustier version, worn over a sliced skirt; it opens its flare over two layered peplums to instantly modernize the wool suit. In the hands of the creative director of women's wear, the timeless icons of the house are enjoying an unrestrained renewal.