I had planned quite a different post for today, but last week we all learned that Raf Simons had resigned as artistic director of Christian Dior after just three and a half years and I felt a need to address that instead.
Raf Simons is one of my favorite designers - exceptionally talented he brought his considerable design skills, creativity and intellect to Christian Dior's couture and ready to wear collections, producing some truly inspired collections. While adhering to the Dior heritage Mr Simons also forged his own path and with his unique sensibility brought Christian Dior into the 21st century. In a shrewd move Rihanna was named brand ambassador in May, adding yet more allure to his collections.
From everything I've read Mr Simon's resignation caught the fashion world off-guard, as he was highly regarded at LVMH, with Sidney Toledano, Chief Executive of Christian Dior Couture and Bernard Arnault, Chairman of LVMH thanking Mr Simons for his "exceptional contribution to the House." His Spring 2016 women's ready to wear collection staged at the Louvre was also well received.
Vanessa Friedman and Elizabeth Paton's article in the New York Times noted that, according to a statement from Mr Simons, who is also the founder of a namesake men's wear brand in Antwerp, Belgium, the decision was "Based entirely and equally on my desire to focus on other interests in my life, including my own brand, and the passions that drive me outside of my work." It seems there was rather more to it than that, including wanting to be involved in redesigning the stores, rather than focusing on just the collections. The movie Dior & I gives us a peek of what's involved for Mr Simons and his team to put a collection together.
Whatever his reasons, I'll remain a fan and in honor of Mr Simons' too short stay with Dior I've put together a small sampling of silhouettes from collections past and present that particularly resonated with me. Photos from Vogue.com - Drumroll...