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Saturday 4 August 2012

Runway to Red Carpet: Dior Couture

When disgraced John Galliano was sacked from Dior in spring 2011, the fashion world was consumed with frenzied speculation over who would become his successor. Almost a year later, back in April, it was announced  that Raf Simons would bag the coveted role and the frenzied speculation began again, this time about Simons' debut and particularly whether he was up to the rigours of Couture.

And so in July perhaps the most-hyped Couture collection in fashion history was unveiled. The reactions were mixed. While there was definitely a cacophony of rapturous praise from one corner, the whispers remained from the other that it wasn't couture enough and was too much of a pastiche of forties and fifties Dior.

We landed somewhere between the two extremes. While we loved the clean, simple lines, we felt that perhaps it was a little too simple for a couture collection particularly when juxtaposed against Galliano's flamboyant Couture collections. We liked that the collection harked back to the golden era of Dior and the New Look with nipped waists, full ballooning skirts and perplums over sharply tailored cigarette pants. We weren't sure about the abundance of sombre black tailoring though and there did seem to be a general lack of heart-flutter inducing gowns. If we were to sum up, we'd say that while not monumental, it was a strong debut particularly given the pressure of the hype and speculation not to mention the need for Simons to make his own mark on the House of Dior without compromising the identity of this fashion monolith. 

For us the real test was how it would translate from the runway to the real world. Marion Cotillard, Dior ambassador, was the first to secure a public outing for a piece from the collection at the premiere of the Dark Knight Rises Premiere on 18th July (less than two weeks after it's catwalk debut). This week has seen a flurry of Dior Couture on the red carpet with both Rachel Weisz and Jessica Biel donning dresses from the collection for the Premieres of The Bourne Supremacy and Total Recall respectively. 

So what was the verdict?

Marion Cotillard
Ten out of ten, gold star to Cotillard  - she wears this dress better than the runway model. Impeccably styled, we love the orangey-red accents from her shoes, clutch and lips which are just different enough shades to avoid being matchy matchy. While this wasn't one of our favourite pieces from the collection Marion makes this a dress to remember.

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Rachel Weisz
Again we were much more enamoured with this dress on Rachel than we were when we saw it on the model. The bustier looks incredible with Rachel's curves; understated old-school elegance. While the Louboutin bow shoes are quirky we can't help feeling that a colour pop shoe and/or clutch would have lifted this look into the realms of mega-wattage.

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Jessica Biel
While the dress is perfectly nice, Biel's look lacks pow; it all seems a little bit off and too try-hard. The major issue for us is the length. The very longest this dress should hit is just above the ankles, sitting directly on the ankles only creates the illusion that Jessica's a hobbit. The styling is also just wrong. Too much necklace, too much nude-toned make-up and we know that those are the Vuitton Merry Go Round courts but we hate the chunky heels. That said, the colour's great on her and we adore the pockets. Props for the nails that match her steel toe-caps!

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