There has been much, MUCH Praise lavished on Raf Simons' "Illustrious" work for La Maison Christian Dior. Praise that I, personally don't agree with. Simons' has been seen as much as Wunderkind and Saviour and Messiah all in one. His work has been Impactive to say the least, But Revolutionary or Messianic... Maybe not so much. In fact, Much of it has been distractingly Inelegant and to be positively truthful, Unattractive. Not even in a Forward looking manner, just unfortunately Overwrought and excessively Overthought. For Spring 2014 Simons' offering for the Dior RTW collection was perhaps his best collection so far, But even in saying that, plagued with issues.
The issue... The clothes just don't look... Wearable. They are Intellectual Exercises. Not clothes made for women with real lives. Interesting pieces of clothing art that are meant to excite debate and dialogue about the art of clothing or the creation of fashion. Insofar as that may be fodder for relishing in the upper echelons of the Fashion cognoscenti, ultimately one can only judge the clothes on the basis of if they extol the woman wearing them, Many of Simons' offerings fail terrifically on that front.
First, Let's address this Obsession with the Bar Jacket that has dominated every collection so far, Unlike per se Lagerfeld's reinvention of the Chanel Tweed jacket season to season, Simons' has yet to recalibrate the Bar Jacket into something outside of an icon and even more truthfully, more dynamic. His plays with the piece have been damnably redundant as if Simons' is in an almost orgiastic thrall. Here, His experiments showed a little Verve. The Floral prints were a nice addition as well as the militaristic and crossover effects brought a some spark. However they always themselves didn't come off gracefully. And let's not even talk about those Hip Cutouts on those unfortunate Angled Pleated skirts, Dreadful!
SO Much of the collection was tricked out and overworked to such a Nonsensical degree that it just made everything look forced and difficult, there was no freedom and ease, it was all Tricks and Gimmicks and were nothing good in the way of exalting the clothes! When things were kept simple, Like an Imperial Red Silk Blend coat at Exit No. 8, they glowed with genuine brilliance. However those sheer pleated pencil skirts... AWFUL. Funnily though, those Organza Bubble skirts should have been absolute Disasterpieces But were actually Couture Worthy in their Modern Elegance and Daring Do! The colour combinations were also Spectacular, Especially The Grass Green and Peony Pink look at Exit No. 31!
The Finale was actually Incredibly Dynamic and Perversely Beautiful. All those Metallic Brocade pieces and Perfectly tailored Bar Jacket and Slim Black pants were pleasantly Gorgeous! but with all that had come before that had severely Underwhelmed, this was just another case of Simons delivering too little, Far too late!