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DECONSTRUCTING DIOR 

You can take away Dior’s creative director, but you can’t take away the house’s spirit. A kooky new offering that blends offbeat elegance with our favourite Dior tropes? Tell us more! 

A scan of the original print feature for Emirates Woman can be found here.

‘I fell. I fell in Dior.’ Carrie Bradshaw’s soul-crushing stumble need not be replicated this season – that is, if you’re wearing the label’s new shoes: cut-out lace-up flats. Besides, A/W16’s Dior girl is far too cool for giddiness.

Since Raf Simons’s departure, the house may be sans Creative Director, but it is not without direction. Studio heads Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux steer the Dior ship steadily, borrowing iconic pieces and reworking them with new-season attitude.

An original Christian Dior sketch is plucked from the archives to serve as the inspiration for hand-painted devoré velvets and silk fil coupé, manifesting as spliced panels at dresses’ seams or sleeves. Prints and patterns that look as though they’ve been dug from an eccentric, Dior-wearing great aunt’s wardrobe, are toughened with stacks of charm-laden rings and earrings. NB: the prim punk wears florals and piercings with purpose.

The Bar jacket is reworked with an asymmetric flounce and panelled sleeves, while maintaining the sloped shoulders and nipped waist that turned heads when Dior debuted the ‘New Look’ in 1947. Indeed, the waist is the star of this show – accentuated by a crossover bodice, defined by buttoned tabs and showcased beneath and above carefully placed ruffles.

This season’s Dior girl isn’t concerned with being overtly sexy – she’s probably too busy reading existentialist literature and perfecting her grape-purple pout. Off-the-shoulder elements merely hint at the state of dishabille – there are draped layers, collarbone-skimming coat collars and slouched sleeves that look as though they’ve fallen. Except of course, they couldn’t have – her razor-sharp side part suggests she’s far too meticulous for that.

 

Despite the couture-like cuts and precious embellishment, Miss Dior is irreverent, unencumbered by tottering heels and laden totes. She swaps stilettos for stomp-worthy flats, sizeable luggage for scaled-up wallets with straps. She tells us it’s OK to layer your finely cut tailoring atop a fuzzy funnel neck; a touch of ‘70s sportswear keeps things fuss-free. Keep this in mind when interpreting the new, New Look: off-kilter elegance rules.