On Monday, Dior showed its spring 2016 couture collection in Paris. The first womenswear offering since creative director Raf Simons’ departure. Studio directors Serge Ruffieux and Lucie Meier stepped into the spotlight and produced a collection meant to further push the wearability agenda. “Couture’s new realism,” the show notes declared.
The collection was cast from the same modernist mold as it was under Simons, reprising his jumble of paneled embroideries, and streamlined takes on the Bar jacket, here enlarged into a hip-length camel coat, or elongated into a narrow black one, under which pleated ruffles undulated. Silk skirts, while past the knee and straight, came with slits, swags or panels of pleating that gave them a seductive movement. Shorter, A-line skirts also came with extra folds of fabric, winking to the fan-skirted New Look that caused a sensation almost seven decades ago.
During a preview, Ruffieux and Meier cited a strong complicity, and a freewheeling approach to interpreting the archive, emphasizing a “wardrobe of pieces” to give women freedom. Noting that Dior was known for striking décolleté, they engineered coats and evening dresses that slipped intentionally off the shoulders as a gesture of Parisian seduction.
At the end of the show, Ruffieux and Meier came out for a bow, and then five more members of the studio spilled onto the runway.