Runway Report: Christian Dior Spring 2016 Couture

No one really knew what to expect from Dior’s Haute Couture show on Monday. Since the seemingly abrupt departure of designer Raf Simons, the iconic French brand has yet to name a successor. This collection was left in the hands of the maison’s studio directors Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux – the latter an intrinsic persona at the label if the fascinating 2014 documentary film Dior and I is at all accurate. The duo was surely backed by the skilled and experienced team that has long been crafting couture in the Dior ateliers, many members of which pre-date even the Galliano era. Referencing some of the archetypal Dior signatures while following the modern path brazenly swathed by Raf Simons, the collection was akin to a band-aid – a temporary solution – for a house that’s hurting for a leader.

If collarbones are the new cleavage, then this collection could be considered alluring, as many of the looks didn’t shy away from showing some shoulder via necklines cut purposefully askew. That, perhaps more than any other key design code, was the takeaway element from this collection.

Interesting too was the idea of casually layering softer pieces like knit tops and diaphanous skirts under more weighty, mismatched separates – a style of dressing not often associated with Haute Couture which is typically more formal, even at Dior during the era when its couture was under the energetic eye of Raf Simons. That said, dressiness was delivered in the form of sparkling crystal beadwork, hints of lace or transparency, and stiffly sculpted undulating ruffles.

It would be naïve to believe that a single designer is responsible every detail of a successful collection. Behind a creative director who helms a brand as weighty as this one lies a massive support system – there to inspire, edit, polish, embellish or perhaps reel in, depending on the design dynamic needed.  The support system in place at Dior is clearly masterful when it comes to execution, and the polite applause the studio directors and assistants received during the show’s finale today acknowledged their respectable effort, but also amplified the fashion world’s eagerness to embrace Dior’s next direction.

About the Author

A fashion stylist, event designer, and style writer, Lucas Somoza has a keen eye for all things beautiful. Based in Paris, Lucas regularly collaborates with Olivia throughout Paris Fashion Week, producing editorials and contributing reviews of designer collections. You can follow Lucas on Instagram at @LucasSomoza.