There’s something about a collection that’s put together without a named creative director at the helm. It’s like being given a bottle of perfume in a generic bottle – the smell is the same but it doesn’t feel quite as good. So it was with the Christian Dior SS16 couture collection today.
Raf Simons is no longer in control and the next creative supremo (currently rumoured to be McQueen’s Sarah Burton) hasn’t arrived yet. So it was a team effort and the thrill wasn’t quite there.
Not that the team putting it together was short of talent, but somehow it just didn’t feel that same as a collection controlled by a single, dominant visionary.
That may be purely a psychological effect, of course – Dior would only have to confound the pundits and tell us that Designer X was being promoted after creating pre-fall and couture (à la Alessandro Michele) and we’d all be raving about his/her creative vision.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not actually criticising the collection. Actually, I quite liked it. I’m a big Simons fan but wasn’t mad on last season’s couture and this time there was plenty to love.
I liked the signature tailleurs, the fluted hems, the embellishment, the coats, the print panels, structured frill detail, the asymmetric necklines, the subtle layering, and the sheer dresses. I’m a bit surprised at the lack of red carpet-worthy dresses though. All-in-all, a “nice” collection.
But whether ‘nice’ is enough to keep Dior at the fashion forefront where it belongs is open to question. Perhaps the sooner the house names a creative head, the better.