With the highly anticipated arrival of Maria Grazia Chiuri as the first female Creative Director for Dior, signalling a new Direction for the 69 year old grande house this fall. Predictions of modernity and a return to romanticism are realistic based on Chiuri’s previous role before stepping down at the restored house of Valentino (where co-Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli now presides solely at the helm). The recent departures of several leading luxury brand creatives, being almost akin to the game of musical chairs but at the highest fashion level cements the slow moving iceberg paced trend of female appointments to the luxury fashion arena. From the defly exit of Alber Elbaz previously at Lanvin to his new replacement Bouchra Jarrar, this past march. Sarah Burton’s appointment to oversee Alexander McQueen, since the nakesame designer tragedy committed suicide in 2010, to rumours of Phoebe Philo leaving Céline to take on another Creative Director role which remains to be seen. Before the imaginative commencement of Dior’s brave new world thru the eyes of Chiuri, we take a steely look back at Raf Simons’ incomparable contributions to the house of Dior within the context of his meticulously orchestrated set design which changed the way we view floral displays forever.
The occassion was to celebrate Christian Dior’s Autumn/Winter 2012 Couture show debuting Simons then, appointment as creative director, who previously oversaw Jill Sander and his own namesake label. By decorating five grand rooms inside a Parisian mansion with over one million real flowers. Where each room was to be covered from floor to ceiling in a solid tapestry of flowers including blue delphiniums, white orchids, yellow myrtle and acacia, pink peonies and a wide range of colored roses. Simons was to bring a fresh and modern approach to the French fashion house while paying homage to Christian Dior’s “Flower Woman” and his love and passion for flowers and gardens, the flowers are “almost a metaphor for the collection as a whole.” Said Simons. “I wanted it to be linked to the codes of Christian Dior — but to make it dynamic, modern, energetic,” the designer told The New York Times, explaining his own historic/modern approach to the line.