Raf Simons: Bringing beauty back to fashion

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Alexander McQueen 2007 fall read to wear        Viviane Westwood from an unknown year

So much of fashion now a days is  about being edgy. Since the days of  Viviane Westwood at Kings Road in England during the seventies, to Alexander  McQueen during the two thousands, the traditional  ways of dressing have been altered forever. These game changers transformed the typical ideas of what beautiful fashion is by making clothes ugly, artsy, as well as dark. This sort of fashion has become the new norm when it was intially considered unacceptable. Today this style is being immortalize as the  costume institute at the Met,  pays homage to this look with its exhibition Punk: Chaos to Couture. With the rules being broken it made me wonder, “Where is the classic beauty?

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                                       Audrey Hepbrun in Givenchy in Funny Face 

Classic beauty from the days when Hubert de Givenchy use to dress Audrey Hepburn in all her films like Funny Face and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Or Christian Dior and the new look that defined the fifties. Designers like these wanted the clothes to match the woman who wore them. They were not interested in reality or fantasy, but  were interested in making women look their best no matter what.  Valentino once said, ” I am here to make women  look beautiful and not like fools or crazy fashion victims”. This sums up the great and elegant style that has been recently restored to the Christian Dior fashion house, under its new creative head: Raf Simons.

 

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An outfit from John Galliano’s last collection for Dior.    An outfit from one of Bill Gaytten’s collections for Dior

Raf Simons was appointed the new head of Christian Dior in April 2012. This was almost a year after the dismissal of the disgraced designer John Galliano, who made anti Semitic rants at a Paris bar in the previous year. Bill Gaytten briefly took over the house before Simons, and received mixed reviews for his collections. Between this and the Galliano controversy, the company decided to do a complete overhaul and wanted a new creative head to restore Dior.

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Simons was born in Belgium on January 12 1968, and studied design at the Industrial Design and Furniture Design college in Genk during the late 80’s and early 90’s. Intially Simons wanted a career in furniture design but changed his mind in 1991 after interning at a studio and seeing Martin Margiela’s all white show. Soon Simons started his own label and was eventually appointed the creative head of Jill Sander in 2005.He was dismissed and presented his last collection under the label for the fall/winter collection in 2012.  Despite this setback it wasn’t long before Simons found himself as the new creative head of Christian Dior.

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Simons came to the house with a completley different perspective than previous designers. His look was mix of modern minimalism as well as the very culture and history of  Christian Dior and the Christian Dior fashion house. Familiar nods to Dior’s famous bar jacket, A line silhouette, and of course Dior’s love of flowers which were all over the runaway. Raf has said that the new era of Dior is about “freedom” and that his goal is to “to bring some emotion back … because I see a lot of amazing clothes, but I don’t see a lot of emotion now.” When his collection debuted in July 2012 it was met with great critical acclaim.

In the year since he has been head Dior’s popularity has sky rocketed, and Simons is being hailed as a true revolutionary in the fashion world. Even Hollywood adores him. When Jennifer Lawrence swept the awards season this year all the actress wore was Dior. Even for her Oscar win, which many praised as the best dress of the night.

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The Spring 2013 Runway dress and the same dress on Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Raf Simons clothes are simple and beautiful like a fresh flower on a spring day. They are not about pushing buttons or being on the cutting edge, but rather a taking a break in the sun to look at all of the world’s natural beauty. The type of emotion that Simons brings are the emotions of joy, innocence and bliss. Like a classic movie Simons takes us back to a simpler time that was about embracing perfection in an effort to be better. In a time were cynicism, and dark beauty is popular, Simons provides a shelter of grace to remind us to embrace perfection in the world.

Sources:

(http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2007RTW-AMCQUEEN/)

( http://www.lostateminor.com/2007/04/26/vivienne-westwood/)

http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2012CTR-CDIOR

http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/S2013RTW-CDIOR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raf_Simons

http://thepeakofchic.blogspot.com/2008/08/valentino-themes-and-variations.html

http://www.pettipond.com/funny_face.htm

http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2011RTW-CDIOR

http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/S2012RTW-CDIOR

http://www.aplace.com/en/blog/tag/dior

http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2012CTR-CDIOR

http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/S2013RTW-CDIOR

http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/S2013CTR-CDIOR

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