For this Bridge assignment, we are to chose 3 designers to analyze. Of the options we were given, I choose Vivienne Westwood, Raf Simons and Chanel.
I choose Vivienne Westwood because her designs are perfectly insane. The pattern mixing is a constant theme through every collection, creating a beautiful chaos. I also feel like she is very inclusive and diverse in her selection of models.
I choose Raf Simons because his designs are so conceptually brilliant. He dabbles in both menswear and womenswear, expressing his creativity in both areas.
I choose Coco Chanel because she really was the visionary behind the brand that Chanel is today. Her classic suits are such a defining factor behind the brand. Beyond that, these pieces show just how eclectic her designs were.
Of these three, the one I’d like to study further is Raf Simons. Of the collections I’ve seen from him, the one I’m focusing on is the first couture collection he did for Dior.
Raf Simons for Dior | Fall 2012
Here is the video of the full collection:
Simons wanted to modernize Dior. He said that by mixing something specifically from the time of Christian Dior and something specifically from this time, that would be modernity in itself. He found inspiration in the future, something alien. He also said that he wanted the women to be comfortable, to not have to rely on a man to help them. Simons is a very visual person and communicates a lot when creating. He finds inspiration in art as well. For some of the pieces in this collection, he took paintings and had them printed not directly on the fabric but on the thread, which created a sense of movement within the fabric.
I felt drawn to this collection mainly because there is a documentary about it which I had previously seen. The documentary is called Dior and I and it focuses on Raf Simons’ first collection as the creative director for couture Dior. It explores the short deadline Simons was tasked with, the creative process of making the collection, the language barrier the entire team had to work through, the ways in which Simons is similar to Christian Dior himself, and the way the ateliers work in the Haus of Dior. It was fascinating and I found myself completely inspired by Simons. The final collection is beautiful; modern and nuanced, yet hints at the classic Dior style. The mixture of the hard lines in the suits with the delicately beaded dresses is exquisite. The way he combines masculinity and femininity is gorgeous and empowering. It starts with a few fitted black suits with impeccable tailoring to women with almost half-dresses. It’s as if full dresses were made into shirts and are worn over suit pants. It seems to be a metaphor for women being both working, powerful women, but also being proudly female and proudly feminine, which I find lovely. The collection has beautiful coats, amazing gowns that are a nod to the classic Dior shape, beaded pieces, light and dark, bright makeup, slicked back hair, and double-sided dresses (one color/pattern in the front, and a totally different one in the back). The collection is well rounded and the styling is very clean.
- How did Simons find his style?
- Where did Simons get his inspiration?
- How can fashion or other art impact or take a stance on feminism?
- How do the fabrics Simons chose communicate ideas to the audience?
- What does texture change about a piece?
- How does the shape of a dress change its meaning?
- How can I use this collection to inspire my own work? What aspect of the collection should I take inspiration from?
- How can I take inspiration from Simons’ choice of color?
- What is happening to these pieces after the runway show?
- Does/how does Simons influence the styling of the models, since that does change how his pieces are received?