Dior couture show fall-winter 2015/1016


Numéro revisits Dior fall-winter 2015/2016 by Raf Simons and it's ephemeral and metaphorical set.

If Dior has often wowed its audience by transforming its runway-show venues into extraordinary flower gardens, where you try in vain to guess the exact number of roses blooming before your eyes, the autumn/winter 2015–16 haute couture show was rather more metaphorical and, dare we say it, witty. 

© Hiroaki Fukuda

It took place in the garden of Paris’s Rodin Museum, in a temporary structure whose glass panels in green and mauve seemed to evoke a pointillist garden, not to mention a Deconstructivist church. This season, Dior’s artistic director Raf Simons appears to have taken as his theme the fall of man – the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.


In a very concrete way, the question of weight and gravity was central to the show : giant fruits – the forbidden variety, of course – littered the mauve floor across which the models glided with either the innocence of a girl at her first communion or the guilt of a woman hiding heavy secrets (lust or luxury – which sin?) under the protecting folds of cape coats. This tension was also palpable in the fabrics used, the lightness of silk muslin contrasting with the opulence of taffeta – an haute-couture fabric par excellence, symbolic of luxury and voluptuousness – and cashmere.

Mixing French and Flemish references, painting and haute couture, the visual and the tactile, Simons pulled off a perfectly judged syncretism. In the deconstructed cape coats, some of which were asymmetrical with only one sleeve, you could chant off the fabrics as though on a rosary: taffeta, wool, fur, tweed, cashmere, but also velvet, a symbol of luxury since at least medieval times, whose heavy round folds and way of both absorbing and softly diffusing light inspired painstaking studies from so many old masters. 


The very particular green of Giovanna Cenami’s dress in Van Eyck’s famous Arnolfini Portrait was reproduced in a coat in silk and cashmere, chain mail was evoked in the hybrid metal waistcoats – half garment half jewellery – worn over some of the dresses, while the jacquard tops clearly recalled the short embroidered or ruched bodices that formed part of the long, sumptuous, high-waisted dresses so typical of the Renaissance. 


By Delphine Roche 


© Pierre Debusschere