This whole thing about fashion shows running late is getting out of control. Dior finished just moments ago and was so long, and so very late starting, that Vogue’s Anna Wintour was seen running for the door the very instant the last look was past her. Granted, with huge productions like this one, and it was very impressive, one can understand all the complications necessary in making the presentation go well. Still, this now throws off the entire schedule for the rest of the day. Editors and buyers rush across town, shows are delayed, and no one is happy. Dear fashion world, we need to change this.

That being said, the fantastic event that was Dior’s spring/summer presentation was nothing short of inspiring and filled with so many wonderful clothes that time and space does not allow me to do much more than touch on a few highlights. Know that, once again, Raf Simons has worked his magic and created a line that is heavy on elegance, simplicity, and beauty while keeping everything fresh, clean, and extremely wearable. With fantastic detailing and frequently subtle embellishments, some of the best things about this collection are its understated qualities that one only finds upon closer inspection. Let’s hit a few high points, though.

White. There’s a tremendous amount of white from the very beginning and throughout the collection. Raf does a lot to keep the color interesting, though, from lace-like cutouts to multi-coloured buttons, and detailed stitching that is just mind boggling.

Trim tops. While silhouettes from the waist down tend to be full and sometimes even flowing, tops are much more trim. A frequent look involves a fitted sport tee look that is extremely tailored at the waist. The look then billows out with skirts and flutters nicely with pants.

Suits. Masculine styling per the house DNA, tight little checks, skirts in layered panels.

Length. Surprisingly few looks hang out above the knee. Even with bermuda-style shorts there are long-tailed frocks and coats. Those coats, which are best when sleeveless, are a major aspect of this collection and often dramatic in their color and shine. What may be more surprising, though, are the number of looks whose neckline comes up right under the chin. There’s precious little skin showing with any of these looks.

Embroidery. Tons of it. I’ve mentioned the detailing already, but let me drive home this point. What Raf does with just the right amount of embroidery at just the right places, keeping the looks simple, never over-run, is a lesson every emerging designer needs to learn. Everything in moderation. Leave them wanting more.

Accessories that matter. From belts to bags to boots, the accessories are, as always, as attention-getting as the clothes themselves. The boots and the bags, in fact, may transcend the popularity of the styles with which they are paired.

Raf Simons has yet to have a weak collection for Dior. The clean elegance he brings to this season is refreshing, very reminiscent of the feeling one has right after a weekend at a luxury spa. Now that I think about it, some of the looks rather resemble the spa as well. Whatever one’s perspective, this is a tremendous collection that stands out dramatically from anything else we’ve seen. At this point, Raf Simons owns Paris, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone well positioned to unseat him.

Photo credit: Yannis Vlamos

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