Dior’s new age embraces past, present and future for ss15

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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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.


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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.

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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.

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[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

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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

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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’

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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…

Jil Sander SS15

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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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

Harrods’ new shoe floor is retail heaven

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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.

Harrods’ Shoe Heaven floor has become a thing of legend and it’s only just opened. Continue reading

London Fashion Week SS15 highlights: Day 4

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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

London Fashion Week SS15 highlights: Day 2

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London designers are known for their youthful experimentation but they’ve becoming equally adept at delivering polished wearability. Day two’s highlights included Lucas Nascimento’s sheer, precision-cut layers (above and below), Joseph’s serene sportswear and Whistles’ luxe leather separates.

Even J.W Anderson surprised with extreme commerciality on his catwalk (combined with clever creativity of course), giving us that spring perennial ‘nautical chic’ his way, involving strategic cut-outs and rope details all accessorised with fetishy floppy leather hats. Continue reading

London Fashion Week SS15 highlights: Day 1

Posted on by Disneyrollergirl

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London Fashion Week kicked off with two buzzy new names. Faustine Steinmetz showed as part of New Gen with her first presentation, a clever exploration of couture and branding, set in the suitably arty ICA.

I’m so impressed by this young designer, whose obsession for hands-on labour and figuring things out results in mind boggling textile experiments. On display were denim-look jackets of polyester styled out like Shibori (“It’s not Shibori at all! I actually handpainted it, I just like that look,” Steinmetz told me), and a jeans-n-jacket combo made from unravelled layers of upcycled denim creating a tufty fringe effect. Continue reading

Ask Alison: Digital runways and the evolution of live-streaming at NYFW & LFW

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Here’s the latest ‘Ask Alison’ post from retail expert and DRG contributor, ALISON BISHOP who unpacks her physical-meets-digital findings so far from the SS15 fashion show season…

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The fashion show is dead. Long live the interactive, digital brand experience now taking place during New York and London fashion weeks, where consumers, influencers and their collective social media clout are the preferred global audience. Continue reading

Rodarte’s perfect mix for SS15

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I can’t normally abide hanky hems, but I’m making an exception for these divine mermaid silhouettes at Rodarte. Also… those bonkers boots!

As usual, the casting, hair, makeup and attitude is spot on. The classic all-American make-up and hair with those busy outfits. The pierced eyebrows!. Continue reading

Tim Coppens’ handsome girls at NYFW SS15

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I’m not all that familiar with Tim Coppens‘ work but I liked what I saw of his SS15 womenswear at NYFW. A little bit Wang, a little bit Tait, it’s continuing on the sports-luxe tip (that’s clearly got plenty of mileage yet) and looks luxurious, technically advanced and just commercial enough. Continue reading

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