As we all know, a decade doesn’t really hit its stride until it reaches its mid point, which is kind of where we’re at now – summer 2014. In fact, it feels to me like we’re only now properly embracing the 21st century, ready to leave the security of the past century behind and boldly go forth. If you want a crystal clear sign, then look at the death of the hipster. Ruling the fashion landscape since the early 2000s, the combo of vintage pastiche, emerging technology and ironic, ugly-on-purpose styling defined the first decade of the millennium with one foot in the past and one foot in the future. Now, having exhausted every ironic retro reference, we’re ready to go full speed into the 2000s.
Helping to propel things forward are our most innovative designers at the most iconic heritage houses. At Dior, Raf Simons has been perfectly placed to marry the historic house codes with his very contemporary outlook. And this he did for yesterday’s Dior couture AW14 show, without in any way presenting a ‘retro’ collection. This is refreshing, as for many people couture suggests fairytale gowns, romance and I guess, tradition. And yet, that’s such a waste of the technical expertise at a couturier’s disposal.
At Dior, we saw embroidered taffeta ‘astronaut suits’, updated flapper dress silhouettes (complete with NASA-style badges), Marie Antoinette-era frock coats and a voluminous take on the classic ‘Bar’ jacket. So while Raf’s gowns were romantic and fit for a Saudi princess, and did take plenty of cues from history, the sum total of their parts amounted to a forward-thinking vision for 21st century couture.
Images: Style.com; NowFashion; Instagram; Dazed/Jacques Habbah