Take me to L.A.

Leandra Medine | March 19, 2013

Raf Simons’ first ready-to-wear collection is launching at Maxfield and I’d be damned if I missed that.

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collaborative series with Christian Dior.

When Dorothy clicks her red slippers, she ends up at home. When I click together these rose-gold, metallic pumps, I turn up in Los Angeles, fully clothed in Christian Dior ready-to-wear care of Raf Simons, which — no offense to L. Frank Baum — seems to cultivate a far better storyline. Doesn’t it?

Today in the second of a three-part series for Man Repeller celebrating the launch of Raf Simons’ first ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior, we’re taking to L.A., where Maxfield is planting its own stamp on the collection and celebrating their unapologetic, California-flavored interpretation of Simons’ artistry for the House of Dior.

I am historically fascinated by the inconspicuous and yet huge culture gap between New York and L.A. When put up against one another, the two fast-pace cities seemingly have more in common with each other than they do with a generous plethora of other American cities. Ask an L.A native if he or she is from New York, though, or reverse that question and ask a New Yorker if he or she is from L.A., and watch the small fractions of earth under which we stand, erupt in a fury of angry defense. What is it about that disconnect? In trying to figure it out, I commissioned the phantom help of something I do (kind of) understand: fashion–and more specifically, Raf Simons’ impact on it.

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In working with Jeffrey last February to celebrate their launch for Simons’ first collection, I unintentionally found myself analyzing the merchandise they’d strategically chose to stock from the Spring/Summer collection. I saw black shorts, jackets, and suits aplenty, coalesced together with some of those phenomenally bright, two tone silk high-low blouses, and the sporadic punch of a pink dress, (which was arguably made for any woman looking to moonlight as The First Lady, in my humble opinion). The Jeffrey take on Simons’ clothes seemed rather New York.

Naturally, when I learned the same collection would be receiving the royal welcome treatment from L.A. too, I had to wonder if that merchandise could seem rather L.A., too. In making assumptions regarding the way in which Maxfield would approach the threads, I figured there would be a lot color and far fewer of the more business (albeit business-fancy) adept silhouettes.

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My findings? I was right about the silhouettes–the Maxfield offerings will include more dresses–but not so much about the color. Has the majesty of layering not percolated through the west coast yet? Maybe L.A. is more geared toward dressing its consumer in one stop shop dresses. Franky, though, if the dresses look like this (which, they do,) maybe they’ve been doing it right and (to put my New York ego to rest) we’re maybe, just maybe, doing it wrong?

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Or maybe the thing about Christian Dior is that you can’t tie the clothes to location. They transcend the boundaries of geography.

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And, fine, full disclosure: I know I might be bastardizing the majesty of this dress but it frankly wouldn’t feel right to keep cut-offs out of any divisive equation where L.A. is the dominant quotient.

Christian Dior dress, Levi’s shorts, Tabitha Simmons shoes. Photos via Vogue and by Naomi Shon. Part 2 in a three-part collaborative series with Christian Dior.