Picture the scene: on arrival at the pap-packed arch of the Musee du Louvre courtyard, you’re greeted by the Dior show venue – a giant mirrored cube. Could this be construed as the ultimate symbol of our modern, narcissistic times? A reflection of us in all our peacock-y finery? This I wondered as I joined pretty much every other show-goer in taking an obligatory selfie to share immediately (cos if you didn’t record it and instantly share it, then you clearly weren’t really there). As I entered the spring summer 2015 show, I expected some more extravagant visual theatrics, alas there was no sign of the wall of 150,000 orchids seen at Dior’s AW14 couture show. In fact, the set was fairly calm; monochromatic, slightly space age-y and a similar layout to said couture show. Black glossy chairs were grouped in four circular ‘salon’ arrangements to give the proceedings an intimate aura.
Reading the show notes which described ‘looking forwards and backwards to prepare for the future through a dynamic sampling and remixing of history’, I thought, wait, this sounds like the couture show too! And when the first of fifty exits emerged on similarly fresh-faced, flowy-haired models as Dior’s July offering, I did feel a sense of deja-vu. Astronauts’ boilersuits juxtaposed with 18th century court dress – hadn’t we been here before? But this is the clever thing; it’s Raf Simons refining an idea, developing his original hyper-luxe output into something lighter, relaxed and widely appealing for the ready-to-wear market.
Raf himself has said he wants Dior to appeal to today’s woman. Hence, the shapes, although rooted in cleverly cut, tailored silhouettes had a youthful (not ‘young’, there’s a difference) energy. The highlights were a warp-printed silk taffeta jumpsuit, a floral jaquard bomber jacket and the high-necked, leg-of-mutton-sleeved smock-shirts which were intriguing yet wearable. Meanwhile, the pleated mini skirt-suits were slightly reminiscent of Clueless, especially teamed with hand-knitted sock-booties, a likely hit with the street style contingent. And the glue that bonded it all together was a masterstroke of streetwear-gone-posh – a succession of quilted silk skate shorts.
Those luxe skate shorts perhaps summed up Dior’s confident new attitude. Raf’s models, speed-walking in sleeveless redingotes with hands plunged into pockets could just as easily be thirty, forty or fifty-somethings with the same on-the-go spring in their step. The crucial factor is the informal treatment of those period references as reflected in the weightless fabrics, the sporty demeanours and lightly made up faces (not to mention Michel Gaubert’s highly unladylike soundtrack featuring Koudlam and Cowboy Rhythmbox). It’s far from the costume-y effect you might get in the hands of a McQueen or a Westwood – or Galliano-era Dior for that matter.
On the front row sat the usual celebrity bold-faces. Hollywood royalty of course – Dakota Fanning, Marion Cottlard, Natalie Dormer from Game of Thrones – but perhaps the biggest pap magnet was Olivia Palermo who straddles the blogger-celeb line perfectly. A photo of her has twice as much currency, sitting just as happily on the fashion pages as the celeb pages (or ideally both). As a gateway to the blogger generation, but with the poise and femininity of the classic Dior customer, she’s the embodiment of today’s ideal clotheshorse. Post-show, she patiently posed against the mirrored box in its historic, cobbled courtyard, the very picture of past, present and future.
[Words: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
Images: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl; Fashion GPS; Style.com; Vogue.co.uk]
DISNEYROLLERGIRL ATTENDED THE DIOR SS15 SHOW AS A GUEST OF DIOR
The DRG Style Index: Marques’Almeida X Topshop, Louis Vuitton, J. Crew, Farfetch Discover, Shinola, Christopher Kane X NARS
The DRG STYLE INDEX has been on hiatus for a couple of weeks while Fashion Month took over. But it’s back with this week’s round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…
1. ON YOUR MARKS FOR MARQUES’ALMEIDA X TOPSHOP
Roll on October 9th. Marques’Almeida’s 68-piece collection for Topshop is looking pretty good, with all the M’A hallmarks intact. Shredded denim, delicious true-blue washes, an overall rough-n-ready aesthetic…watch this one fly. (P.S, if you’re eyeing up the parka, be fast, it’s predicted to go first…)
2. LOUIS VUITTON LAUNCHES ‘THE BOOK’
Content-meets-commerce continues to thrive. In the last couple of weeks I’ve raved about the in-house print magazines that Matchesfashion.com and Hermes produce – beautifully and expensively executed tomes that are mailed free to customers (or deposited in stores). This autumn Louis Vuitton is joining the fray with ‘The Book’, its own biannual glossy. LVMH also runs Nowness.com, the online content site, so has clearly seen that content publishing is a viable marketing tool. By the same token, Nicolas Ghesquiere has taken over the Louis Vuitton Instagram account in the run-up to the SS15 show on Wednesday to give us a sneaky hint of what to expect. You can see it here…
J. CREW JOINS LONDON’S LITTLE MANHATTAN
J. Crew is slowly but steadily making its presence felt in London. This month has seen the launch of a new store in Sloane Square (fast becoming Little Manhattan with Club Monaco, Rag & Bone, Tiffany and Kate Spade nicely settled), as well as two J. Crew fragrances. If you find the womenswear a little girly (all those statement necklaces!), then my advice is to head for the men’s knitwear and boys’ blazers. Of the Arquiste For J. Crew fragrances, No 31 is the fruity one and No 57 is the unisex, woody one. (Guess which I chose…?)
4. FARFETCH FOR RETAIL TOURISTS
I’m liking this new physical-meets-digital app from fashion aggregator Farfetch. Capitalising on its global network of independent boutiques, the Farfetch Discover app lets you in on the go-to places recommended by its cache of well-travelled style influencers. Discover the Templehofer Feld Park in Berlin (recommended by The Style Traveller’s Bonnie Rakhit) or the vegan Gratitude Cafe in Los Angeles (suggested by Decades’ Cameron Silver), then click on the map to find out which Farfetch boutique is nearby for a spot of retail tourism.
5. SHINOLA OPENS IN NEWBURGH STREET
Barely a week goes by that Shinola doesn’t get a mention on this site. This week’s news is a biggie – Shinola is opening its first store outside the US right here in London. In Newburgh Street to be precise, where the two-floor store will slot nicely alongside LVC and Redwing, in what’s known as London’s ‘heritage quarter’. For a brand that’s only three years old, Shinola is making impressive progress with its robust Detroit-built watches, leathergoods, journals and bikes. The store will open at 13 Newburgh Street next month.
6. CHRISTOPHER KANE X NARS
The Christopher Kane commerce machine is cranking up nicely. Following this season’s handbag launch, next up is make-up. Coming next May, we’ll see a full colour collection produced by NARS, although what to expect is anyone’s guess as the SS15 collection was decidedly colour-free. But then, Mr Kane is known for his unpredictable surprises…
My favourite colourists and patternists, Eley Kishimoto just unveiled their first collection of hand-printed wallpapers at Decorex International. Yes, some of them are downright tripppy but they’re sooo good!
Eley Kishimoto wallpapers are screen printed to order and you can buy them HERE.
Gap’s ‘new’ creative director, Rebekka Bay is well into her stride now and fittingly for the Dane who came from COS, the look for AW14 is heavily weighted to a darker, Scandi-style aesthetic.
I particularly like the inky indigo blue denim (above) and the dark wool cocoon jacket (below). I’ve tried it on and it’s a great cut, ticking the box for smart but warm very well. Two other things Gap is nailing at the moment: cashmere and sweatshirts. Continue reading
Slowly falling in love with Jil Sander again. Incoming creative director Rodolfo Paglialunga showed his debut for SS15 and I really like the youthful, school uniformness of the stiff shirting, wrap skirts and cool colour palette.
Someone in Bon magazine (Yasmin Sewell I think) said a while ago that they doubted the relevance of Sander now that other brands have stepped into the Sander space (Celine, The Row). But this younger take could appeal to a new customer, and I always like to support the underdog… Continue reading
Who needs expensive glossies when you can pick up this standard of editorial excellence free from an Hermes store? The autumn-winter 2014 issues of Hermes’ magazine has a feel of The Gentlewoman and Fantastic Man, both in the handsome casting and styling of its womenswear shoots (this one’s shot by Julia Hetta and styled by Camille Biddault-Waddington) and in the quiet and precise mood of its men’s accessory shoot… Continue reading
This post is a little late because I had so much post-LFW catching up to do.
Simone Rocha is a favourite for Londoners and has finely tuned her unique communion-chic aesthetic. I loved how the models’ heads were swathed in sheer, flower-scattered voiles. Also, those pink lace-ups… Continue reading
Will we ever tire of buying shoes? Judging by the last few years, it would appear our appetites are bigger than ever. Each shiny new footwear department (some big enough to have their own postcode), mall and ecom site just opens up more possibility, choice and downright longing.
This summer, I noticed a trend emerging that I couldn’t wait to hit the high street. All the skater boys were wearing too-short jeans, an inch or so above their battered Vans and it’s a look I’ve always loved.
The skinny jeans obsession has peaked so we’re after something new. and as it coincides with Normcore, I’m just going to say it – welcome back Levi’s 501, I’ve missed you.
How I’d like to wear too-short 501s? Exactly like this. If your 501s aren’t this length when you buy them, you can get them altered at the Levi’s store, fast and free (I think mine were done in a day). And the walkable heels showing just a bit of skin are a refreshing change from Tribute-style ankle-breakers (RIP).
[Main pic: Tommy ton/Style.com]
The answer to the question “why do we still need fashion shows?” was answered succinctly on Monday with Thomas Tait’s powerpacked, techno-soundtracked stomper of a show. Fashion shows need emotion, energy and feeling in order to express something these days, the clothes are only part of the story. And so Tait created tension and anticipation in his concrete box of a location, with walls painted in collaboration with artist Georges Rousse setting an intriguing scene. Continue reading