Neon florals and midcentury shapes mark Dior’s spring couture show

Ian Laughead

Raf Simons’ second couture outing for Christian Dior took place Monday, Jan. 21 in a romantically recreated garden set, showcasing the flowering gowns and suits he would send down the runway.

Dior’s spring collection looked right at home in the Jacques Wirtz-designed botanical extravagance with bursts of bright tangerine, quiet, rosy pinks and lemon yellows.

The house did a garden theme before, during the Galliano years, but Simons took the motif to less extravagant levels, keeping the clothing sophisticatedly restrained.

The look was far from boring, however. Models had bejeweled red lips, bleached eyebrows, and Anne Hathaway pixie cuts slicked to their foreheads.

Elegant, close-fitting bodices bloomed into shapely skirts, some with petals of folds and others in a shape recalling an upturned tuberose.

The Belgian played with the house’s archival embroidery, mixing it together and splashing on floor-dusting hems. Cut away panels looked experimental, with a cocktail style slashed horizontally behind the knee with a sheer panel thrown in. In another dress, a stream of blossoms floats around and down the legs.

The couture collection went down much the same labyrinthian path as the spring ready-to-wear line, and it is those bright, optimistic colors and the simple, sharp cuts Simons showed here that looked as fresh as the flowers that surrounded them.