All it will take is one look, and we guarantee you'll fall in love with the botanical dream Raf Simons created for Christian Dior's Spring '13 couture collection. Looking to capture "the very idea of Spring," Simons showcased nothing short of a meticulous bouquet of looks, which included floral-embellished gowns, embroidered bustiers, dramatic tea-length dresses, and sleek separates. The magic came into play thanks to Simons's penchant for modernity, which came through in the collection's clean, asymmetrical lines. We also loved how the designer found the right balance between sharp silhouettes, then tempered against ornate, feminine details. In short, it's a collection we're already dreaming of seeing on the red carpet this awards season. See our top 10 picks from Christian Dior's stunning show, then tell us which look is your favorite in the comments below.
- Matthew Williamson has teamed with heritage brand Ballantyne on a knitwear capsule for both men and women. [Vogue UK]
- Angela Missoni left her label's Fall 2013 men's show early to avoid the barrage of reporters waiting to ask about her brother's disappearance. [On the Runway]
- Fred Perry is celebrating its 60th anniversary by inviting 60 personalities — from designers like Raf Simons to publications like i-D Magazine — to create unique takes on Perry's iconic polo shirt. [Style.com]
- Even from an early age, Wren's Melissa Coker found inspiration in '60s style. [Fashionista]
- Speaking of retro fashion, Cameron Silver of Decades believes that buying vintage hones a collector's eye: "I love the idea that someone might be wearing something that is sixty years old and still look totally current," he said. "True vintage fans generally understand this and even learn to buy modern clothing much more intelligently." [AnotherMag]
- Swatch has acquired Harry Winston for $750 million. [WWD]
- Net-a-Porter's sales have risen 55 percent since last year. [Telegraph]
- Alexander Wang is mentioned in Justin Timberlake's new single, "Suit & Tie." [YouTube]
In a wide-ranging conversation with Fern Mallis on stage at the 92nd Street Y this week, Marc Jacobs said he discussed not taking over for John Galliano in sessions with his psychiatrist.
"It was actually my psychiatrist who said, 'How is this going to improve the quality of your life?' and I said, 'It's not.' I mean, two more shows — and after Galliano, what he has done — when am I going to live my life?" Jacobs asked.
The designer also talked about growing up in New York City, studying at Parsons, and being treated for substance abuse. A few highlights from the conversation below.
On going to college: "Every day was like a fashion parade. There was a little troop of us. It was me, a girl named Susan Martin, Chris Iles, and Tracy Reese. The four of us were inseparable. We were the overachievers. We would do five times what was required just because we really enjoyed it."
On the critics: "There are very few, and I don't mean this in a bitchy way, journalists who I respect. I don't think a lot of them know what they're looking at. . . . I'm fine with constructive criticism but I'm not so good with stupidity. It's one thing to say 'I like or I don't like' but to misread or mislabel something or to be out of sorts because it was raining, or a late show, or you were hungry. That just all feels not valid."
On his sobriety: "I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent sober. What I'm saying is perfection is not my deal. Yeah, maybe I have had a glass of wine or a couple of whiskeys. Maybe I've smoked a joint or something like that. Or other things, but I'm mostly sober."
On what he tells aspiring designers: "What's worked for me is not quitting, being more passionate about what I do, and not giving up. And when I don't believe in myself, turning to other people who believe in me."
Photo by Joyce Culver, courtesy of 92nd Street Y.
Designer shake-ups, editor switcheroos, and more peplums than you could shake a hip at: 2012 had it all. Herein, we break down the biggest fashion stories of the year, alphabet style. Click through to relive it all — the gossip, glory, triumphs, scandals, and everything in between — in our most extensive year-end recap yet.
Raf Simons says he's working on turning Dior into a brand that everyone in the world will recognize as soon as they see it — sort of like Chanel.
"The Chanel woman? I don't even need to see, I smell her from round the corner, but I don't recognize the Dior woman," Simons said in an interview for the January issue of Vogue UK. "I want to work on that fast. Chanel has the deux-pièces with the pockets, or the bouclé, but what is it for Dior nowadays? I can't say."
Eventually, Simons wants Dior to be something that appeals to a wide variety of people.
"Dior's ultimate obsession is that he wanted [the public] to wear it. I want them to wear it on the street," he said. "If it doesn't relate to the outside, then it would be very theatrical for me."
That mission — to make serious and wearable clothing for Dior — has guided Simons's short tenure at the French fashion house, and even extends to his couture collections.
"I want to get away from couture just being done for a picture, or for a single moment on the red carpet," he said in an interview with Vogue Australia last month. "I want to try and convince women that couture can be worn in the day and that there's a reality and a relevance there, because that's what Mr. Christian Dior wanted. In my opinion, Christian Dior was never, ever theater."
Photo: Simons photographed by David Sims for the December issue of Vogue.
It's time to pay year-end homage to the designer who stood out above the rest, and we can't do it without your help. Here's the thing: there was a plethora of fashionable talent to watch in 2012, but we've narrowed it down to five individuals who consistently stole the show with a genius mix of gorgeous runway fodder and red-carpet wins. So which designer really knocked your socks off? Was it Raf Simons, the newly minted creative director of Christian Dior? Did Joseph Altuzarra's luxe nomadic runway pieces speak to you? Was it Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's minimalist aesthetic for The Row that impressed you most? Were you dying over Prabal Gurung's red-carpet creations (hello, Jennifer Lawrence at the Hunger Games premiere in LA)? Or is it Hedi Slimane's cool-girl overhaul of Saint Laurent Paris that resonates with you? Vote for your favorite designer of the year below!
The exact circumstances under which Jil Sander replaced Raf Simons as the creative director of her eponymous fashion house were unclear until today.
According to a new profile in WSJ. Magazine's Winter issue, Sander wasn't called back to the house she founded in 1968 just because Simons was on his way to Dior. In fact, Sander entered talks with Onward Holdings Co., the Japanese private equity firm that owns the label, about coming back over six months prior to Simons's departure. Sander left her job designing the +J capsule collection for Uniqlo in September 2011, and it was announced that she would replace Simons at the end of February 2012.
Simons's departure, it seems, came before he officially accepted the Dior job — though when he left, he had already entered talks with LVMH about becoming the house's creative director. And while Simons's work at Jil Sander was a critical success, the profile notes that during his time there, "the company remained solidly in the red." To turn Jil Sander's fortunes around, the label's chairman Franco Pene said he wanted "to get back to the roots of the company — to its DNA. And there was no one more capable of doing this than the original designer."
Whatever the reasoning for her return to the label, where her first two collections have earned favorable reviews, Sander credits divine intervention with steering her back home.
"With all of my history, I feel it's been more like a journey, and driven by something up there," she says, pointing toward the heavens. "This is actually what it has to be. We learn to never go back, never try to repeat, only look to the future. But in this case, maybe this is an exception."
Photo courtesy of Jil Sander
Rihanna may have been on hand to switch on the Westfield Stratford City Christmas lights and spread holiday cheer in London, but it was her blue striped pantsuit that had us cheering. The trendsetter layered a blue and gray striped top and matching trousers from Acne's men's Spring 2013 collection over a crisp white button-down, then slid on a men's cobalt Raf Simons coat and gray suede pumps for extra texture. As if her borrowed-from-the-boys style wasn't chic enough, the brunette beauty completed her eye-catching look with brilliant blue cat-eye shades, a bevy of gold rings, and a bright red lip. Get inspired by Rihanna's fashion-forward style and pair a two-toned striped top with matching pants and neutral suede pumps for a night out with the girls.
Rihanna's always a big experimenter with fashion, and her latest turn on the red carpet in London was no different. The singer made an appearance at Westfield in London to switch on the inaugural Christmas lights, donning a structured oversize blue coat from Raf Simons and a striped top and pants straight off Acne's Spring '13 menswear runway collection. Not many women can pull off wearing actual men's clothing, but we think the performer pretty much nailed the cool menswear vibe. To temper her oversize proportions, Rihanna kept her look clean with a sharp collared Simons button-down layered underneath her striped top and finished off her look with suede point-toe pumps, gorgeous gold statement rings, a cool coif, and her signature red lips. Take a closer look at her outfit in the slideshow and tell us what you think about her statement stripes in the comment section below.
Interviews with Raf Simons are few and far between, but the new creative director of Dior says it's not because he's press-shy. "I don't know where you got the idea that I'm aloof," he says in the December issue of Vogue Australia.
Far from aloof, Simons is almost effusive, touching on everything from John Galliano (he says he doesn't find his designs "relevant") to his vision for Dior's future. He also talks about making the transition from Jil Sander to one of the most coveted jobs in fashion and how he wants to change couture. Highlights from the interview below.
On John Galliano: "I have so much respect for John's technical skill and the fantasy, it's just something that I don't find relevant now, especially when it restricts a woman, because in every other area they have so much freedom now."
On getting the Dior job and his sudden departure from Jil Sander: "I'm not going to lie to you. We [Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH, and Sidney Toledano, president of Dior] had been talking for months about the job, but talks happen all the time in this business. That doesn't mean something is necessarily going to come out of it. . . I felt more like a psychiatrist than a designer in the end [at Jil Sander], just to keep my team's spirits up."
On his final show at Jil Sander: "That final collection was not in any way an audition for the Dior job. It was just something I wanted to do."
On Dior's impact on fashion: "The more I analyzed the pieces, the more I realized how many people have built their careers on Christian Dior's patterns, from Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garcons onwards. What he achieved in 10 years at his house is unprecedented."
On what he's trying to accomplish: "I want to get away from couture just being done for a picture, or for a single moment on the red carpet. I want to try and convince women that couture can be worn in the day and that there's a reality and a relevance there, because that's what Mr. Christian Dior wanted. In my opinion, Christian Dior was never, ever theater."
Photo courtesy of Dior, via Vogue Australia.