Details at Dior

Raf Simons: 1, Mankind: 0.


Yesterday, just behind Les Invalides in the 7th Arrondisement of Paris, Raf Simons showed his second ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior. Inside a room decorated with floors adorned by clouds (riffing off the Spring/Summer ad campaigns, perhaps) and a mirrored ceiling reflecting the same clouds, it was only the enormous silver balloon balls that could have detracted from the obvious air (pun so intended) of fluidity and the crisp lightness reflective of the collection. Eventually, those enormous balloons would function as a perfect window, mirroring the models as Simons sent them down the runway, effectively offering all of us–even in the fourth row–a front row experience.

The soundtrack choice was interesting: a collection of subversive dialogues among inconspicuous voices tackling the mundane: how do you take your coffee? Do you want to eat carrots? Can you walk and think simultaneously? How do you feel about dog maintenance? The show notes made sense of it, though: “the persistence of memory,” it wrote, “the thoughts, the feelings and experiences that flow and inspire the creative process over the passage of time.” What a clear representation of the evolving relationship between Raf Simons and Christian Dior.

Simons seems to have a very clear and respectful understanding of the past. He appreciates it, is nostalgic for it, but has seemingly discarded that which cannot still be rendered relevant. What he has done for Christian Dior verifies that the design process is not about creating things that never were before–it’s about making them one’s own. In Simons’ case that means not only maintaining his own DNA but also that of Christian Dior’s. The Warholian shoes, the playful sketches, the watercolor work–and yet, the dramatic, red coat, knit work, and overwhelmingly streamlined silhouettes are an authentic fusion of taste. One that reveals simultaneous respect and an absence of self-consciousness about Simons’ regard for his own talent.

And when fashion can make a person feel like this, like she has something to say and it’s meaningful and painted with a heavy stroke of truth–that is a rare, magical thing.

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  • francesca

    Sounds like the show was as surreal as the clothing. Raf is such an phenomenal artist–my latest post at Bondi-roco posits such.

  • Beautiful photos, I love everything, especially that bag.

  • erica wright

    The show looked beautiful, my favourite of the season so far. You were so lucky to be there!! Fourth row et all!!

  • Cynthia Chen

    why don’t you site sources for your photos?

    • Leandra Medine

      They’re all IMAX tree which is a site you subscribe to for the images–sometimes I pull from there and sometimes from Vogue. Happy to cite if it makes a fundamental difference to you guys just figured in runway instances they’re so ubiquitous!

    • Cynthia….ur being anal. Pls stop.

  • Extremely beautiful presentation! Loved it.

  • monkeyshines
  • Jon

    Interesting that Simons chose to use Warhol’s very early commercial work for I. Miller shoes as a graphic. I wonder if he is drawing connections not only to his beginning at Dior, but also making a statement about how he might see Dior as a commercial job, and not his pure art (his eponymous label). Or maybe he just likes shoes….

  • Just a teensy-note: did you mean to write “Simons seems to have a very clear and respectful understanding of the past? There’s no “t.” Wanted to make sure!

  • rux

    i absolutely adored the gallery Dior made with these absolutely special bags.


  • Romina C

    The setting of the show was quite incredible! And the collection as well. Romina

  • Kalie

    I love all your posts, and I think you’re a talented writer and will definitely be picking up your book of essays when it’s out, but the spelling slips in your posts are really starting to irk me! We all have typing and spelling slip-ups, but you’re publishing your writing and have a lot of people reading what you write. “Wanted to evoked,” “evolvingg,” and “understanding the pas” are just some from this one. I realize you’re probably writing these on the go, but maybe get someone to glance at your posts for errors before you send them off?

    • =^..^=

      This is a blog, not a Pulitzer-prize entry …. cheez.

      • Kalie

        It’s a blog written by someone who is trying to become a published author, so it should reflect well on her capabilities, no?

        • manny

          haters gonna hate! man shut up or stop reading….get a life

          • Kid Bowery

            This ain’t hating. Kalie makes an absolutely valid and relevant point. And one that is, if anything, supportive. A reader–a sincere and loyal one–has every right to expect formalistic competence from a writer. Just as Ms. Medine’s often fine, unexpected and amusing thoughts have every right to be supported by error-free grammar and spelling.

    • Leandra Medine

      Thanks for the note, Kalie! It’s considerably harder to copy-edit my own writing when I’m abroad though I’m pretty terrible at it when I’m not, too. Working on it now.

  • Opposite Lipstick
  • vittoria gallacci

    Beautiful details: I love the work that Raf Simons is doing chez Dior!

    Vittoria from 5 IN THE MORNING

  • disqus_X5gCaSS2zi

    leandra….i am 55…there will always be mean girls…just keep doing what you’re doing…i read you every morning….spelling slip ups or not!!!!!!

  • Cynthia

    Yikes, I do not want to wear a stiletto on my breast. These graphic prints are not doing it for me.

  • Ah yes, Simons is a master at taking heritage, making it his own and adding super commercial value at the same time. The owners hit it out of the park by singing the Belgian creative. I can see this collection selling like hotcakes and all over the fashionistas, magazine editorials in a few months – @descosido_

  • Very clean and crisp collection from Raf Simons. Although I’m not sure I like this whole wearable aspect of Dior now. It seems this whole season has been focusing on uncomplicated clothes and making fashion accessible to the streets.

    Don’t get me wrong, that concept is great but when I need theatricality, Dior WAS always the answer. However, I feel like that awe-inspiring feeling has now disappeared along with John Galliano.

    • mint_maison

      It’s important to remember, though, that Galliano’s Dior was more Galliano than Dior, whereas Raf’s Dior is more respectful of the brand’s heritage, and intertwines the two designers’ aesthetics. There may be no theatrics, but now Dior is subtly awe-inspiring, and not in-your-face about it.

  • Sarahbakerhansen

    I also wondered if the silver balloons were a nod to warhol’s factory. Either way, what a glorious collection.

  • natalie

    that andy warhol bag is awesome!


  • The bags are such an incredible job perfectly done!

  • rhodawong

    that collection is beyond amazing!

  • Busola Coutts

    The Dior collection is very clean and crisp and Simons did a great job.

  • Namrata Kedar

    Love the watercolour and the illustrations! A different twist to couture!


  • Bonnie Clyde

    I never comment and this post made me do so. Wish I was there.

  • The shoes were out of this world. Couldn’t believe my eyes!

  • The floating orbs and the ethereality of the show were beautiful, but in my humble opinion detracted from the ensembles (which weren’t as dreamy as I’d hoped for) which were disappointing in this collection.

  • Lauren Dimesky

    I love how you’ve reported on the show~ you are my eyes and ears for everywhere I want to be right now! The handbag seems to be a bit controversial~ and I am on the side of adoring it!

    -Lauren at adorn la femme

  • A very interesting collection from Simons, him being in the of the most down to earth and realistic designer known. This collection, I think, showcases his acknowledgement of how fashion should have a dose of reality to make it relevant. And yet, that knowledge is juxtaposed with the grandeur of an haute couture house like Dior. Thus I pick up elements that symbolizes that juxtaposition between reality and surrealism throughout the show and collection. The dreamy set vs the mundane sounds, the extravagant lines of New Look vs the casual materials and coziness of knits. The idealized beauty of art vs the commercialized world, captured through the early drawings of Warhol as prints.

    I do have to say, visually and when observed on piece by piece point of view, I find the knits to be more appealing than the ones with Warhol prints.

    This collection shows Simons’ awareness of the respect deserved by a brand as grand as Dior as well as the respect he owes himself as a designer with his own point of views.

  • Love your writings Leandra, really hope to meet you in person in the future 🙂

  • I love the bags and the shoes!

  • Love all the shoes and bags!

  • loved that graphic retro minimalism

  • Lust Covet Desire

    Beautiful collection, it’s modern elegance.

  • really love that red coat!

  • Whatisinmyworld

    The Andy Warhol shoe drawings on the handbag and dress are fabulous.

  • Isabella

    Sorry, but I have to disagree – I didn’t like it at all. Remember Simon’s last show for Jil Sander? for fuck’s sake, it made me cry – and I was thousands of miles away from the live emotion, in rio de janeiro, watching the show via pictures. There was a feeling Cyou could see through the clothes and it was pure and beautiful (and even a little cheesy if spoken like that). There was a lot of Raf in those, and there was no way not to love it. and now, I do think RS is being too pressured to sell and is starting to make way too comercial clothing. He is my favourite contemporary designer, in fact – I’ve been following hir carreer and I do thin he’s amazing. But there’s just no him in his Dior collections (apart from the last couture one, which I loved)… I just see a bunch of references to old Monsieur Dior and no Simons asthetic at all, added to a need to sell. Raf Simons is not good at doing commercial – he never was – and there’s too much pressure on him with the sales thing/the “you need to be good and replace a legend” thing. Collections are always nice, but they have no emotion at all. Raf has been disappointing me and I miss the good old days in which he expressed himself much more. It’s not good to see a true genius like he is tucked into the need of basically re-doing the brand’s archive when he could be putting a lot more of him in his work – he’s good, afterall. Suzy Menkes didn’t like it, and even though I’m not a huge fan of her, I have to agree this time… And it even makes me sad to do so.

  • Love! So fun and so Dior. I would very willingly wear a stiletto on my breast, btw.

  • Wow – LOVE that purse.

    xox Lara

  • Leila Daiana Llunez

    I don’t like the whole collection, but there are some really nices pieces of clothing and I think Raf is doing a great job at Dior!

    The Trend Upsetter

  • I Like it, his inspiration is interesting…
    (The Red coat is amazing !)


  • Ana

    I like some pieces but its far from being a favorite collection.

  • Mr Coolpool

    Hello Leandra.

    Your picture taken in Paris at

    Stay Cool! :o)

  • dany

    how romantic is that red coat? love the details you highlighted.

    xxo, dany

  • Shonima Kaul

    I absolutely love Raf Simmons work at DIOR.. I may not have liked all the pieces in this collection but on the whole he has done a wonderful job..spectacular mix of utilitarian meets chic and contemporary.. worthy of all the accolades coming his way. Especially love the Warholian prints.

    In case anyone wishes to see my reviews on the collection, feel free to visit my blog
    Fashion U Feel (FUF)

  • Alessandra (Espaço A)

    Amazing! I want the bag!

  • That red coat is stunning. I love shoes, not sure If i want to wear them on any other part of my body besides my feet. The white dress with the print of the 3/4 profile of a woman and flowers is great though.

  • Deb

    He’s destroying Dior. The clothes are blah and a big departure from what Dior should do best: exceptional evening and daywear. There is nothing to buy for the traditional Dior buyer.