Raf Simons - Page 12 - the Fashion Spot
 
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28-12-2014
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Originally Posted by Creative View Post
I wonder how the rtw, accessories and couture lines are selling. I would love to see a graph representing the last seven years...
Me too!

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30-12-2014
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The thing is for me, is I loved everything he did for Jil Sander. Truly. And while I do not worship his menswear, like many do, I do always appreciate it and find it provoking and interesting.

So his work for Dior so far confuses me endlessly. His work for Jil Sander, while minimal, was so sensual and romantic in certain ways - even his collections prior to his Couture Trilogy. There was always a story. I don't see any of that here for Dior. At all. You talk about the extreme contemporary-ness of his collections, yet I see no real "reality" to them. I look at all his collections so far (aside from his Couture debut) and see very little that is honestly flattering. In any sense of the word. Odd color combinations, odd textures, odd embroideries, odd styling, odd accessories, odd proportions and odd concepts. And it's all so cold and sexless, too! And the celebrities that wear Dior all look terribly uncomfortable in the clothes too! Jennifer Lawrence always looks like a cat in a sweater, and poor Marion Cotillard probably wishes she had never signed that Dior contract and instead had cut a deal with Gaultier.

I don't know...I just think he's got things all wrong for Dior. And I had very high hopes. I think he's too concerned with the "codes" of the house...the specifics...the Bar Suit, the ball gown, the flowers. I think why Galliano was such a success at the house was that he wasn't bogged down (until the last several years of his career) with those codes. You'd see the bar suit, you'd see that nipped waist jacket, you'd see the florals...but it was never so shackled and slavish to those icons as I feel Raf is. And my sense is that shackled feeling I'm getting is that Raf isn't capable of grasping the spirit of the house, and therefor doesn't truly feel as free as he claims he does there. Galliano felt free. There's no doubt about that. And that freedom came from being totally aligned with the spirit of Dior...no matter how outrageous or far out his creations were, Dior was always there in spirit.

I had hoped that Raf would make Dior more youthful - youth is indeed his claim to fame. His menswear is all about youth culture and teenage rebellion. Why his Dior woman has to be some cold, sexless executive creature? And his allusions to street culture are so trite, too - like turning a high heel into an athletic sneaker. But a sneaker doesn't make the collection connected to the street if it's not there in every stitch of every garment. I'd almost bet that if he simply showed one of his eponymous men's collections on female models on the Dior catwalk, I'd enjoy it so, so much more.
agree with pretty much everything, could not have said it better.

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07-03-2015
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^Another version of the trailer


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11-03-2015
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The movie is only in theaters for one week here in Taiwan (two weeks in a particular theater), better catch your time to see it.

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12-03-2015
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Cant wait to see "Dior and I". That collection is one of my all time favorite, from any house. The flowers walls, i dont even know how many pictures i have of those!

This thread seems to be the playground of Galliano´s fans... odd!

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09-04-2015
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Raf Simons' Photo Album
Raf Simons speaks to Jo-Ann Furniss for Another Man about the photo album that inspired and decorated his S/S15 collection

"After the Autumn/Winter collection with Sterling Ruby, it seemed that the only possible way to go for Spring/Summer was deeper inside myself – to find out where designing all started and how it fits with me personally. This collection was not about shapes or forms, it was a kind of ‘memory wear’. I was always thinking of the future for so many years and I was always anti-romanticising the past. But I have to admit the past can be beautiful too. There has never been a collection with so much of me personally attached to it.

I have always hated having my picture taken; I’m not sure why, but maybe it just felt irrelevant to me in terms of what I do. If I could choose to be anonymous I would be – I know it’s a cliché, but it’s true. Now, I have started to look at photographs in a different kind of way, as part of a memory. Many of the photographs I have used on the clothing in this collection are connected to emotions: love, happiness, fear, sadness… they all connect to moments in my life. Then there are pictures related to things that inspired me in the moment, as well as things I have always been obsessed by. Choosing the pictures was a very intuitive process; not everything was really about explaining in words."



1. “This photograph was taken just before I started work on my first collection; I was still thinking about starting and turning into a designer. I had become close friends with Olivier [Rizzo]. He had graduated from the Antwerp Academy in 1993 and the ‘Superman’ t-shirt I am wearing here is from his final degree show – he gave the shirt to me as a present and I still have it. This is a passport picture and, of course, I am not looking at the camera; I didn’t like having my picture taken, I still don’t.”



2. “This picture is something that I would never normally do at this time. When you start a brand you automatically become very exposed – and I was always trying to get out of photographs. That’s why I am walking out of the picture frame – I am literally walking away! But, at the same time, this photograph was a realisation that these things were actually happening to me. This was one of the first pictures taken in the new atelier; I am trying to get away and there are two boys fading into the background.”



3. “This picture was taken in the build up to the Black Palms show. Black Palms was the second show I did, there were no photographs taken of the first. This is a garage in the Bastille area of Paris where the show was to be held. I am on some scaffolding starting to pin up pictures of palm trees that would eventually be all over the venue. What I am wearing really defines my look and the look of the collections at that time: black outfits, long, skinny, white Stan Smiths – it was all related to that silhouette. Elke is also in the picture; she worked with me for many years and I have known her since I was 15. She is like family, and still sets up the show space and prep space for us in Paris. It looks like the scaffolding in Don’t Look Now, which is, of course, sublime! Horror movies have been a big influence on me.”



4. “There is such an elegance to this picture; I have always been obsessed by it. It is of my mother and father, with my father shooting. It looks like a film still and has always felt very film noir to me. My dad was an army man and good at all kinds of sports, but he never showed off about it. There is a lot of pride in that picture; he was able to shoot and hit the target the first time. It was at a fairground stall where you hit the target and a photograph was automatically taken – this was it. There is an idea of pride in the latest collection with the symbolism of the peacock and that photograph is a very proud moment for both my mother and father – they’re a peacock couple!”



5, 6, 7. “My parents always spent a lot of time by the sea when they were younger, year in and year out. It was generally always in Belgium somewhere, probably Ostend. I have many photographs like this of them and they are love pictures for me; without them even touching, you can see the love between them. For me these pictures are very romantic, like a fairytale… Does that sound stupid?”



8. “Nature and the sea are these two big symbols for me; I have that link with nature and I always try and escape to the sea, just like my parents did. I like looking at water: it feels calming and romantic – and endless. This photograph made me think a lot about that, and also about my mum and dad. People don’t think of me in this way, but I did, in fact, grow up in the countryside. When I was a child, my parents could never really take a holiday abroad, we would always go to the Belgian seaside. This is one of my first holidays abroad with some of my friends from university – this is when I was in Genk studying industrial design. We are in the Canary Islands; one of my parents’ friends lives there. You can see that, before I decided to go into fashion, I wasn’t all dark and black and Helmut Lang – I was actually orange and tanned!”



9. “That is my dad, standing on the left, back when he was in the army with one of his close friends. This picture was taken in the barracks. I suppose that this photograph just says something to me about friendship. Here my dad is, really young – and his friend is not one of the people that I have ever known. It always had a certain impact on me; the idea that my dad was once in the army, but when I was growing up he was a night watchman rather than a career soldier. It made me think of him in a very different way, as somebody else... as somebody who was not just my father.”
anothermag

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09-04-2015
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^ that's sweet, thanks for posting, Marc.

So psyched about Dior and I coming out next week here.

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10-04-2015
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Inside Raf Simons’s House

BY JO-ANN FURNISS

The designer talks about a new film detailing the bumpy road to his first couture collection for Dior — and the intimate relationship with the women of his atelier.

RAF SIMONS ISN’T good at hiding his feelings. The Belgian designer who took over as creative director at Dior three years ago, after running the minimalist house Jil Sander, may seem intense and watch-spring tight, but his emotions — fear, obsession, ecstasy — are instantly readable in his steel-blue eyes and at the corners of his mouth. At one point in “Dior and I,” the documentary by Frédéric Tcheng released this month that traces Simons’s first eight weeks at the house and the breakneck creation of his first couture collection for fall 2012, he is so carried away by joy when a fabric-maker is able, at the last minute, to perfect a challenging print based on the paintings of Sterling Ruby that he holds back tears as he mouths the word, “Sublime.”

It is the paradox of Simons’s personality and talent — despite his reserve and shyness, he is also collaborative and emotional — that is at the heart of the film. That duality underpins as well the relationship he has developed with Florence Chehet, 47, and Monique Bailly, 62, the pair of premières who, respectively, run the atelier flou, where Dior’s confectionary dresses are created, and the atelier tailleur, which creates the meticulous suiting and fitted pieces. With their mostly middle-aged workers, called “les petites mains” (the little hands), many of whom have been sewing couture since they were teenagers, the premières, one jolly, the other fretful, are the unsung heroines of the film — and arguably the couture business itself — laboring in crowded workrooms atop Dior’s historic Avenue Montaigne mansion. The uninitiated may assume that clients rarely have contact with the white-coated, unglamorous people who actually hand-make the clothes, but through much of the process, Chehet and Bailly are directly involved, sometimes flying to such places as Doha, Dallas or St. Petersburg to do multiple adjustments on garments that can easily cost $200,000 or more. Of all the French design houses that started out with couture, only Chanel continues to maintain its atelier in addition to ready-to-wear operations.

“It is really an in-house, collaborative thing,” Simons said recently, as he sat behind the large midcentury desk that dominates his office in an annex to the mansion, a work by Los Angeles-based Ruby on the wall. He is eating a bowl of fruit and cereal heartily, surely a sign that now, three years after the film was shot (his most recent ready-to-wear show, a minimalist jungle of tough, twisted animal prints, was warmly embraced by critics), he is in a more peaceful place. “I always compare it to the sense you get from American quilting, where the women of a family get together and work on something for months, years even.”

Simons’s years in ready-to-wear did not prepare him for the face-to-face closeness of the couture atelier, he says. As someone who is not easily comfortable with strangers — his awkwardness is palpable in the film as he meets the staff for the first time — he seems as surprised as anyone by the intimacy that has developed since he took over. “In ready-to-wear, you work with many external suppliers, it is more abstract. About 95 percent of these people, I do not know who they are.” In the Dior ateliers, he says, it was “very easy and very family, very fast.”

THE PRESSURE ON SIMONS to create a couture collection from scratch without any experience in the ateliers and with the shadow of Monsieur Dior hanging over him gives the film its racing pulse, but through it all, the premières are largely unflappable. Little wonder, as they spent years working with the temperamental, flamboyant John Galliano, whose name is not mentioned in the film and who click-clacked about his shows for 15 years in flamenco heels or outfitted as a haute couture pirate, complete with skintight britches, bandanna and bad-guy mustache. (He was fired in 2011 by owner LVMH in the wake of drunken anti-Semitic comments made in a Paris bar and recently took over at Maison Margiela.) Simons, in his customary white shirt and navy cashmere crew-neck sweater, stands as a quiet rebuke to all that, and his collections have grown more confident season by season, leaving behind the legacy of Galliano’s highly theatrical oeuvre.

Despite their differences, however, both men were unafraid to make extraordinary demands of the ateliers, as did Monsieur Dior, whose memoirs are read in voice-over during the film, linking the new designer directly to the founder. It’s not unusual for a single couture dress to take 700 hours of work; Galliano’s aesthetic was more elaborate, but Simons’s approach required a different sort of discipline. His first collection riffed on the house’s legendary New Look, but he insisted that the dressmakers sculpt the trademark poufy silhouettes into a more modern shape, which, at moments in the film, proves challenging. He produced more pants in his first collection than the house had ever seen, and continues to. “When we worked with John Galliano, we knew nothing was impossible,” said Chehet, who started her career as a seamstress for Hubert de Givenchy more than 30 years ago. Looking back on that first collection with Simons, she said, “We felt we were necessary, that they needed us.”

A subtle but significant moment in the film comes midway through the season preparation, when the premières present the ateliers with the sketches that Simons has approved, ready to be cut and sewn under breathtaking deadline. Instead of assigning each seamstress an item, the workers are allowed to choose which design they wish to execute.

“It’s very beautiful; everybody becomes emotionally invested in what they do,” said Pieter Mulier, Simons’s right-hand man, reflecting recently on how that process, which he’s seen several times since the film was shot, still moves him. “A couture garment is like a child that each person takes care of day and night for two months, and the last day when they give the garment away to the showroom, it’s very sad.”


nytimes/tmagazine

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'Dior and I' is out in US theaters as of yesterday and I popped by Lincoln Center for a screening. I liked it but I didn't fall in love as I did with The September Issue. Even though it's about what happens in the atelier it still felt all very surface level, I can't explain it but it was a feeling I couldn't shake.

Maybe it's because the film very wholeheartedly follows the entire atelier. You see things from the viewpoint of a few petits mains as well as from Raf as well as from Pieter. Even a bit from the Madame of the atelier. Because of that there's no figure like Grace Coddington that everyone sort of uniformly gets behind, falls in love with and the camera itself falls in love with to indulge our fascination.

It's quite pretty, beautifully shot. You learn a bit about the format of the Dior atelier with the petits main working under a premiere and those reporting to Raf and Pieter as well as the Madame(she handles the private clients I believe and may be what some call a vandeuse). It's endearing to learn little things like how each petit main picks their dress for the show and makes it which leads me to believe that the amount of looks in a couture collection is directly correlated to the amount of workers in the ateliers.

But like I said, I couldn't shake the feeling that it lacked a little depth. Seeing a glimpse of Sidney Toledano made me want to know a little more of what was happening with LVMH, a few glimpses of the communications director made me want to know about that side, same with the Madame and even the same with Raf. There's a scene where we are riding with him in a car but we never get to his destination which was I assume his house. We cut to the next day. Going to his home could have added a bit of personal connect which may be what was lacking when I say it was shallow. But alas, I'm no film critic.

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11-04-2015
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I saw Dior and I not too long ago because for some reason Australians got an early release. I thought it was really insightful but I was left wanting more. I was hoping for more shown into the making of the clothes and conceptual ideas but still it was definitely worth my time. Interestingly though, I never even realized that Raf had a right hand man (just shows you how much I know about him) and the way he works is quite 'interesting'.

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172 thanks for posting that Marc

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Saw "Dior and I" this past weekend. It was enjoyable. Not particularly insightful, but beautifully filmed and edited - especially the debut runway show. It looked gorgeous on screen! Definitely was his best collection for the house.

Overall, though, as others have mentioned, it felt pretty surface level and I was left without a real impression of what the house of Dior is. After you watch a documentary like "Signe Chanel" you feel like you leave with an understanding of the spirit, the personalities, the dynamic and the relationships of the house. You see surface level hints of these things in this Dior documentary, but not enough to "get" it.

One thing I will say is this - I found it rather dull watching Raf. He is not a charasmatic individual, in my opinion. It has nothing to do with him being demanding or tough (you'll know what scene I'm referring to if you've seen it) - I'd be surprised if as head designer of Dior if he wasn't demanding - but really he just didn't come off as a likable personality. Pieter, on the other hand, was adorable!

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I watched it last night on iTunes (although I have still preordered the DVD) and I found myself really believing in Raf even more so, I thought it was admirable that both him and Pieter understood their predecessors shoes (Galliano, not Gaynett) were huge ones to fill instead of this belief of out with the old, in with the new, they understood the past and ultimately knew they were there to make it modern, relevant and ultimately radically different, I also understood the frustration Raf felt during a period of time during the creation of the collection and I also loved that Raf really made his presence at the house felt that the staff knew he was approachable and accessible, not a bird in a gild cage that is unaccessible.

The processes of his collections construction were also very animated and fun, the way they played with silhouettes and the way he guided his team with his vision was truly unique.

Yes, Raf isn't Galliano - but I've seen more of what Raf has created, on the street than what Galliano did, which for me is an indicator of how Raf has helped revolutionise and modernise a house that perhaps didn't need it but has introduced a new customer, a new age bracket and more importantly fresh eyes on such a classic house.

His collections are getting stronger as he progresses and understands his customer even more but I really loved his first collection for the house and seeing the conception to completion really insightful and intriguing.

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14-04-2015
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You can watch it in iTunes!? Excellent, because I've been hunting for a screening in Dubai and simply cannot find one. I was considering jumping on a place back home to London to watch it lol.

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