Raf Simons's first collection at Dior was unanimously adored by critics, who fawned over Simons's ability to marry the fashion house's early aesthetic with his own modern vision. But yesterday, storied British fashion journalist Colin McDowell came forward with some qualms about the show — namely, that he felt all the pomp and circumstance was overdone.
He wrote in his column for Business of Fashion:
But now we face a brave new world with Raf Simons at the helm. He is a bold and inspired choice by the Dior executives. He has a good track record and will soon have a worldwide profile. But not quite yet. And I think that the Dior executives are aware of this, which is why, for his first Dior outing, the show space was overwhelmed with an exceedingly ostentatious display of flowers that literally covered the walls of the venue. What’s more, an unusually large number of designers — Marc Jacobs, Alber Elbaz, Donatella Versace, Christopher Kane, Pierre Cardin, Diane von Furstenberg, Riccardo Tisci, Olivier Theyskens and Azzedine Alaïa — had been called in to fill the front rows.
But the over the top choreography was unnecessary. Raf Simons is a very good designer and Dior should have the confidence to stand by him without cheerleaders or fancy frills. They were part of the Galliano era, but that is gone and they have no place in Dior by Raf Simons.
There's one hole in this criticism — those front rows would still have been plenty full of A-list fashion types and celebrities if all those designers hadn't "been called in"; it's not like Dior needed seat-fillers. And having designers there instead of movie stars was a nice move on Dior's part, as it showed industry solidarity instead of a need for Hollywood-level publicity. One also got the sense that so many designers were invited because the show signaled a new chapter in the international fashion industry, as it finally laid to rest the aftermath of Galliano's transgressions. Rather than wondering how Dior will proceed without Galliano, we now wonder how Dior will proceed with Simons. It was an immensely positive moment, and it's understandable that lots of designers were eager to witness it.
McDowell, of course, is still in Simons's corner, and concludes his column with a "go forth, young man" pep talk that urges Simons not to borrow from Dior's archives too reverently (if at all):
[Simons] is in the unique position of being able to finally modernise couture and break out of the endlessly atavistic circles it has spun for so long.
But he will not do so if he spends his time simply giving his own spin to the thinking of Christian Dior and John Galliano. He must look into his heart and mind, remember what makes him unique and forget all about the Dior archive. It has been endlessly examined and re-examined and generally done to death already. Raf Simons has a strongly individual aesthetic. He has no need to lean on the past.
He is not son of John Galliano. He is Raf Simons, future leader of the pack.
Simons should tape that last sentence on his bedroom mirror, or at least on his kitchen fridge.
Most Viewed Stories
Mary-Kate Olsen Strains Every Muscle in Her Face in an Attempt to Smile
The Fashion Executive Who Doesn’t Wear Underwear on Dates
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Prince George Has No Time for Justin Trudeau’s High Fives
How Angelina Jolie Won the First Big Battle in Her Divorce
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
2009 Called — It Wants Its Vogue-Versus-Bloggers Fight Back.
Former Miss Universe Becomes U.S. Citizen So She Can Vote Against Trump
Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of September 26
From Our Partners
The Zoe Report
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.