In the salons of the Palais Bulles, on the coast of southern France, the cruise 2016 collection by Raf Simons for Christian Dior was unveiled. We take a look.
In the salons and on the curving terraces of the Palais Bulles designed by Antti Lovag, the Dior women are walking past with a whole new allure. Exhibiting a natural elegance, they're wearing clothes that are architectural yet fluid, sometimes masculine in inspiration and yet always feminine, designed for the beach as for the city. Women rich in contrasts, perfect reflections of the place between land and sea on which they sashay, where the natural landscape of the Côte d'Azur is mixed with the most elaborate of constructions.
For his cruise 2016 collection, Raf Simons, the House's Creative Director for women's wear, takes us to the south of France. The undulations of the Mediterranean and the volumes of its hinterland inspire organic motifs. Light fabrics, mesh and perforated materials flutter at the mercy of the Mistral to reveal flashes of discreetly sun-kissed skin. The warm, Côte d'Azur color story splashes the looks with horizon blue, orange ochre, green. In their inspirations, the outfits seem to offer a panoramic take on this region in which the jet set rubs elbows with the world of the arts, from Saint Tropez to Saint Paul de Vence. Patchworks of lurex and sequins capture the rays of the setting sun, while on the back of a white dress a graphic composition revelas the word "Paradise", like calligraphy on a virgin canvas.
These inspirations meet the House's unique allure in a fresh and contemporary vision. "I wanted this collection to bring an idea of freedom and individuality to the forefront, especially in relation to the Dior archives", explains Raf Simons. Gingham - referencing a dress designed by Christian Dior in 1948 and Marc Bohan's Riviera-inspired creations of the 1960s - is reinvented in multicolor versions and through layering. The Corolle skirts are worn as minis, paired with a knit tank. Those floral motifs so beloved of Christian Dior bloom across jacquard shorts. And the Bar jacket, a House icon if ever there was one, is reinvented with squared-off peplums, and accessorized with leather sandals, as a symbol of a collection in which the House's elegance is injected with a Mediterranean spirit.
Photography & Story by Dior