Couture Week AW16: Dior in Black and White

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Dior, which is currently operating without a creative director, presented a delectably clean, contemporary compilation; an exclusively monochrome collection paired with simplistic black flat sandals.

Swiss designers Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux have been acting as caretakers for the fashion giant since Dior’s Belgian-born creative director, Raf Simons, left last year. Not only have they done more than a decent job, they’ve curated a superb show, which inadvertently celebrates the house’s long-standing heritage.

Obvious elements were extracted from the brand’s early history, specifically the wasp-waisted and hip-padded Bar Jacket, which Christian Dior first presented in 1947, while other pieces resemble creations from Raf Simons’ era. Sumptuous crêpe de chin dresses were showcased alongside Fifties-styled slouchy trousers and structured Victorian silhouettes. All of which was worn with exaggerated, feline-esque liner. Some models wore gold, to compliment the gilded touches in the décor, but otherwise sported a fresh and natural complexion.

Pulling back from the defiantly pre-revolutionary Versailles spectacular, Dior was recast in monochrome, which catapulted the label into the 21st Century. A clear departure from pretty pastels that stun on the catwalk but are too nauseating for everyday life, there was a relaxed ease and calmness to the collection; masculine meets feminine.

Styled by Guido Palau, each model’s long straight hair was pulled back and separated by a rough parting. A simple gold clasp decorated the lengths and flat shoes allowed each beauty to silently glide through the white-painted salon at 30 Avenue Montaigne. Even the most sensational attire was paired with flats, which reflected the contemporary vibe of the collection.

Nonetheless, there was plenty of variety. Pearl and gold embroideries were plentiful, as was the jet beadwork. Mandatory, full, Dior skirts were paired alongside floaty silk columns. Playful, mid-calf chiffon skirts and ballerina-length sculpted gowns were also in abundance.