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A New Look? It’ll be totally different…

Ian Wright

Hysteria abounded last Monday as Dior finally told us who was picking up the glamorous, but lightly soiled reins from the deposed John Galliano.

Hysteria abounded last Monday as Dior finally told us who was picking up the glamorous, but lightly soiled reins from the deposed John Galliano. To the surprise of precisely no one who had shown even the slightest interest in the saga, it was announced that former Yves Saint Laurent creative director Raf Simons would take up the role vacated by the controversial Brit.

So what does this mean for Dior’s aesthetic? Caretaker artistic director Bill Gaytten moved the label in a more commercial, if rather dull and generic direction. So the difference when Simons presents his first collection for the famous French house in July won’t be quite as marked as it would have been had he followed immediately on from Galliano, but the shift will still be every bit as dramatic as the Briton’s trademark finale walks.

Galliano helped redefine Dior as one of the key players at the heart of French fashion’s movement towards ultimate luxury, coupled with unabashed glamour with both the label’s main and couture lines, and Simons will no doubt take this into consideration.

But I feel that instead of all the pomp and ceremony, both in the way he designs and conducts himself, Simons will bring a sense of calm and consideration to Dior. In that respect, he is the perfect appointment.

It will be a whole lot cleaner and tidier - his last Jil Sander collection was proof enough of where his head is at, but he will undoubtedly take his unparalleled talent for cut and indefinable beauty and will align it with Dior’s glamorous past.

Let’s hope the Belgian magician stamps his mark on one of the world’s most fantastic fashion houses and gives us all fairy tale after fairy tale; but whatever the final aesthetic, at the label it won’t be so much Dior’s New Look as a totally different one altogether.

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