A mountain of purple blue delphiniums greeted guests of the Dior show on Friday. More than 400,000 flowers in all were used to cover the hilltop exterior and the show’s backdrop at the Carré du Louvre in Paris. In the language of flowers, this particular bloom is meant to represent big-heartedness and having divine qualities as well as symbolizing levity, fun, and an overall sense of joy.
That was without a doubt the emotion many of the guests were feeling once designer Raf Simons had taken his bow. His Spring/Summer 2016 collection had a pretty youthful innocence about it, with a guileless charm that made it instantly alluring.
“I wanted the collection to have a purity to it,” said the designer about his work. “To simplify and concentrate on a line that expresses an idea of femininity, fragility, and sensitivity without sacrificing strength and impact,” he added.
It was the sartorial equivalent of a girl on the cusp of womanhood who is still unaware of her beauty or her innate power. It is a purity that lets her think that a cropped torso-bearing sweater and a pair of scalloped edged chaste white shorts are simply clothing to wear because they are comfortable and allow a freedom of movement – unaware of the effect that such garments might have on those around her.
In much the same way, Simons gave his structured bar suit jackets a romantic femininity by finishing them off with a flutter of pleats at the hem. He also softened his suiting by rounding the shoulders, cutting his outerwear in oversized cocooning shapes, and creating dresses in semi-sheer organza that just hinted at bands of color in the fabric.
The designer intentionally kept the ornamentation to a strict minimum. Stripes, and a bit of floral embroidery on some winning off white parkas, were the only elements of embellishments in this pristine show.
The result was a quietly beautiful collection filled with pieces that will sell themselves, particularly the outerwear. And it proved that being bold and brash isn’t the only way to make a lasting impression. Sometimes the most captivating clothing merely needs to whisper to be effective.