It was "the most Raf Dior show so far" one editor Tweeted. Raf Simons has been at Christian Dior for four seasons now and the love affair the fashion media has been having with this work at the house is still as fresh and new as the day he showed his first collection. Today's fall '14 collection was especially ripe with moments to love and talk about. Here are the biggest takeaways we've gleaned after poring over the pictures and clippings.
1) Introducing: Sneels
That would be the sneaker heel, thank you. Prada started this idea with spring'14, but Raf perfected it for fall by showing statement specimens that are slick stilettos on top, and sporty, rubber soled sneakers on the bottom. They're basically the footwear you've spent years wishing existed: a sexy shoe that gives you the provocation of a Helmut Newton photograph with the function of a pair of Crocs (and no, we don't endorse wearing those.)
2) Fashion is still thinking pink
The color was virtually inescapable this fall, and its looking like it will still be pretty ubiquitous come September, thanks largely to Raf. He owned the color showing it in a range of variations from neon magenta to a pale shade of bubblegum. This is important because as one of fashion's most influential arbiters of taste, he has the power to establish trends, or in this case, prolong them. That said, expect to see the color around for a lot longer.
3) The bar jacket is the new Le Smoking
Every so often a designer will revisit and re-imagine an iconic piece, and that moment will trickle down and influence everything from the fashion that appears on future runways, to the sales floor at Zara. Usually we see this with Yves Saint Laurent's oeuvre through countless modern versions of the Le Smoking or safari jacket for example. But this season, it's Raf's version of Dior's famous bar jacket (the nipped waist jacket portion of his New Look.) It's a nod to the past, but more than anything we're betting it's the harbinger of a future moment.
4) The puffer just got classy
We've seen the quilted jacket in florals, leather and techy graphics. But as a cocktail hour appropriate skirt? We did today. And in Raf's hands, the idea makes perfect sense.
5) Rihanna has made underwear as outerwear a real thing
Yesterday, she had three outfit changes (two Balmain and one Lanvin) which ended with her going virtually topless in a nipple exposing mesh shirt at Olivier Rousteing's party. Today, she styled her crimson Dior fur coat up like a Parisian call girl, teddy, garters and all. Let's just call this Rihanna Fashion Week.
6) And Raf is ever the critical darling
A few excerpts from the breathless reviews that have been published so far:
Style.com: "It's impossible for Simons to design anything that doesn't come straight from the heart."
American Vogue: "Of course, as Simons has ably shown, pondering those concepts has led him to create some absolutely dazzling fashion, and none more so than with his phenomenal fall 2014 prêt-à-porter collection for Dior; a collection that not only felt very much about the house and its legacy, but which coursed with Simons’s own aesthetic (and yes, cultural) preoccupations, perhaps greater than any he has done for the house thus far."
Women's Wear Daily: "That accomplished, this collection was his strongest yet for the house."