Raf Simons Fall 2018 menswear collection. “Simons, like many Europeans of his generation, was exposed to the harrowing world of Christiane F. in high school, where the film and the book were discussed as a part of the curriculum,” the press release explained. It went on: “Christiane F. remains a cautionary tale, one that unashamedly and unapologetically depicts the realities of drug use and addiction.” Vogue.
Raf Simons' Spring 2017 menswear collection pays homage to photographer Robert Maplethorpe. And while Raf Simons isn't the first fashion designer to be inspired and motivated by famous artists, to say Maplethorpe was merely an inspiration would be an inaccuracy because he served much more to this collection. When the Robert Maplethorpe Foundation approached Raf Simons and gave him carte blanche to Maplethorpe's body of work, the designer interpreted a runway collection that embodies the artistic and personal essence of the photographer. In the HBO documentary about the life and career of Robert Maplethorpe, titled Look at the Pictures, the film does an excellent job of chronicling the artist's journey of self-discovery and sexual exploration. I've been a Maplethorpe fan for 20+ years and I urge you to watch the documentary. I learned that Maplethorpe had no separation between life and art - it was one in the same for him. Even though his very known for controversial works about BDSM and his own gay fetishes, let's not forget his exquisite images of flowers and his portraits of famous people like his muse/lover Patti Smith and designer Carolina Herrera.
Circling back to Raf Simons Spring 2017, the designer delve deeply into Maplethorpe to create a menswear collection that was a curatorial representation of the artist's prolific body of work. Every single piece in the menswear collection features a Maplethorpe print - florals, self-portraits and if you look closely, not so closely, you'll find and erect prize or two. The curly-haired models, that looked like an army of Maplethorpes, marched down the runway in over-sized shirts, some in leather dungarees and many in half-cocked (pardon the pun) leather biker caps. The collection is fresh and modern while still giving nods to Maplethope's personal style.
I've been writing about Dior and I since before its release and [as usual] I miss every movie and documentary I'm interested in watching. Dior and I came and went and I missed out, until now. Thank you Netflix!
[I finally] watched Dior and I, from the comfort of my sofa, about a week ago and I'm still thinking about it. It moved me. Raf Simons moved me. It makes his departure from Dior last Fall very upsetting [to me] because from the perspective of the film, he was beginning to adjust and Dior was doing quite well with Raf at the helm.
Dior and I takes us on a frenzied journey through the creation of an haute couture collection. But not just any collection - this was Raf Simons' first collection as the artistic director for Christian Dior and his very first couture collection ever. He had only eight weeks to create and produce a collection and runway show where ALL eyes would be on him. This was a very stressful, under-pressure situation for him. Or anyone, really.
One of the most interesting "topics" of the documentary was the question of minimalism. There is a difference between modernity and minimalism; they are not the same. However, coming from Jil Sander, Raf Simons was immediately pegged as a minimalist when all he wanted to do was express a modern approach to a legendary label. Watching and listening to him speak on the topic was an important and revealing part of the film. Suddenly, everything made sense.
The collection itself was stunning but the images, including the ones published by me, did not do justice to the garments. The richness of the textiles and the intensive labor involved are captured well in Dior and I. Also, photos can't compare to watching this collection in high-definition movement. So absolutely exquisite.
It is undeniable that Raf Simons is an enormous talent. I enjoyed watching his creativity unfold and at the same time felt his stress and frustration - something the film did well to convey. By the end of Dior and I, you feel like you know this man. And watching Raf Simons get emotional was very moving indeed. I couldn't help but to cry along with him. Dior and I did an excellent job of conveying his humanity as well.
I urge you to watch Dior and I, or even better, like me, own it! I'll most definitely be watching Dior and I again.
Raf Simons continues to embed his mark, vision and aesthetic on the House of Dior. Like other notable creative director's heading legendary labels, Simons is successfully balancing between new and tradition. I haven't seen a retro vibe present itself with so much freshness in a long time. This collection has so many stand out pieces in a broad range of silhouettes. Some of my faves: the psychedelic catsuits, the ribbons dress and most of the coats in the brightest colors.
In 2012, legendary French fashion house, Christian Dior Couture, announced designer Raf Simons as its head Creative Director. Dior and I pays homage to the work of the talented Dior atelier and takes a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the makings of Simons’ debut haute couture collection and how it returned to the origins of the house of Dior. Film & TV distributor The Orchard has acquired all rights in the U.S. and Canada to director Frédéric Tcheng’s fashion documentary Dior and I, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival to outstanding praise. This marks the third fashion film for Tcheng, who previously co-wrote and co-directed Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel and co-produced Valentino: The Last Emperor. The documentary captures the entire process behind Raf Simons debut couture collection in his new position as Creative Director of Christian Dior Couture.
The film is slated for a 2015 theatrical release in the U.S. and Canada.
Raf Simons took Dior on a redefining time-travel journey for Fall 2014 couture. From Marie Antoinette silhouettes to astronaut-ish silk jumpers, Dior's creative director may have been making a greater statement about the future of not only the legendary maison but of haute couture in general. In the simplest terms, as our world changes, inevitably so must everything in it. Haute Couture must evolve. But this evolvement doesn't come without its share of controversy and criticism. Some believe Raf Simons has simplified couture too much in an attempt for modernization - Making it too casual. Perhaps he's thinking of the next generation of clientele? A younger class of the elite uber-rich who've grown up in the same fast-paced, technological society that we have. As for Dior's Fall couture collection, it's beautiful. There are some very choice pieces with lavish embroidery and full length furs. Even with its modernity, couture will remain an exclusive club for a specific client base. View Collection:
The walls were lavishly blanketed in fresh flowers, reportedly, 1M. In the front row, the world's top designers:
, Marc Jacobs,
Furstenberg and more, eagerly awaited, in support of their colleague and friend.
In what has been called the most anticipated show of the season, designer
did not disappoint.
Couture Fall 2012.
The big deal:
debut collection for the legendary house. Fashion critics have referred to the couture collection as possessing the "
appropriate balance of reverence and iconoclasm." A fitting, if not perfect, juxtaposition as the modernist designer takes over the iconic label.