While Ms. McDowell must have found the collection to be too retrospective, I have found it very relevant to my pear shaped self. Such an archaic and obsolete body type, I know. I had a separate entry about it in my other hips related blog , and here is my take on Raf Simons hips regardless.
In her article, Ms. McDowell pleads Raf Simons to look into his heart and mind and express his own uniqueness rather than “examine and re-examine Dior archives that are done to death already.” I got pretty tired of examining and re-examining Dior archives for myself but keep doing it because it’s virtually the only choice to put my best face forward. Pretty limiting, don’t you think?
I have been longing for something else outside of the ‘new look’ dresses paired with the ankle booties, a combination supposed to win the right for a caption: “classy with the twist” and “elegant but modern.” I wonder if there is any way to get rid of the apologetic mode and all these ‘yets‘ and ‘buts‘?
My admiration with Raf started last Fall when he came up with the veiled beanie for his Jil Sander Spring 2012 collection. Being utterly European but residing in the most casual, rough California I felt like my personal style can be best described as an English esquire held in ransom by Zulu. When a veiled beanie came along I knew that the cards are turning right for me.
For the first time in my life I felt like jumping out of my skin and sporting the trend. Instead I was forced to take a rain check. Being at the last trimester of my pregnancy I was quietly watching all the veiled beanie rage with my very own veiled beanie in hand. The nature claimed the body and dictated only the most rigid silhouettes leaving no room for whimsy. After I gave birth to Lucas in February of 2012 I only wore it once to the opening of Gaultier show at the SFMOMA paired with the Michael Kors color block shift dress. This is all I’ve got.
As I was reading Simon’s description of his last collection at Jil Sander I had tears in my eyes, finally there was something on the runway about me and my life: “Before the show, Simons explained that this collection was all about staying home with your family—and referencing those understated codes of the house. He was thinking about a woman who spends an amorous morning with her partner and then slips on a coat to take the kids to school.”
For my baby shower in February someone gave me a book, “Parisiennes. A Celebration of French Women.” I was leafing through when the picture of the combination most unusual and most modern caught my eye. A beanie and a matching scarf (ski sweater) paired with the most feminine, tailored suite. Turned out an outfit by Dior, 1960.
This is when I realized Raf Simons will be hired by Dior. When the news finally came through, I took it very personally. It felt like my very own little personal victory. And a very large personal hope. Turned out I am not the only one looking at Simons as messiah and he must feel under enormous pressure right now.
But I can’t tell you how optimistic I am about it all. My life is full of amorous mornings and understated codes of the house, I have a two year old and five months old, a soft wool coat to slip on whenever I need to and Raf Simons at Dior who thinks of it all. La vita e bella.