Dior goes mini, in Raf Simons' debut ready-to-wear

The Associated Press Modified: September 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm •  Published: September 28, 2012
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photo - Models wear creations from Belgian fashion designer Raf Simmons for Dior ready to wear Spring-Summer 2013 collection, presented in Paris, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
Models wear creations from Belgian fashion designer Raf Simmons for Dior ready to wear Spring-Summer 2013 collection, presented in Paris, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

PARIS — Freedom was at the heart of Belgian designer Raf Simons' debut ready-to-wear outing for Christian Dior — a confident show that twinned the essence of the 1950's "New Look," with the liberated hemlines of the 1960s.

Simons, a minimalist, is in many ways the stark opposite of Christian Dior, the exuberant house founder who favored longer ankle-length silhouettes.

But Friday's free, liberating display shows that in spirit — if not perhaps in silhouette — they meet eye to eye.

Simons took the "New Look" bar jacket, in black, gray and white and sent it down the catwalk often bare-legged, with the hemlines of the sexual revolution.

It was the same rebellious mood with which Christian Dior founded the house in 1947: His long-length "New Look" shocked the fashion world in its indulgent use of material — a backlash against wartime fabric rationing.

"The foundation of the house is a reaction to restrictions," said Simons. "I wanted to do that too."

Do it, he did — not forgetting to have fun on the way.

The strongest of the 53 looks were the highly wearable plays on the "bar."

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