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Monday, April 9

Raf Simons to helm Dior

Raf Simons at the end of the Jil Sander spring/summer 2012 show

Raf Simons is to assume the helm of French fashion house, Christian Dior. He was appointed today and is to start in his new position from Wednesday. There has been speculation ever since John Galliano was unceremoniously ousted from his role for an anti-semetic rant he had and a number of names were flying around. Marc Jacobs, Haider Ackermann and British designer Christopher Kane were linked to the role with the latter having ruled himself out early on but when Simons' name was thrown into the mix I had an inkling that it'd be him.

Raf Simons in tears after his last Jil Sander collection

Simons recently left his post as the Creative Director at Jil Sander after presenting his final collection for the label's Spring line for 2013. In tears he left without another job to move on to apart from designing for his eponymous menswear line. Simons has maintained his minimalist aesthetic and influence of youth culture throughout his work, this is coupled with a strong line and sharp tailoring. He introduced an injection of colour into Jil Sander and reinvigorated the once troubled brand and has helped elevate it to where it is today. I was really sad when he announced he was leaving but as always, and with a talent as great and unique as his, the only way is up.

Now, I'm not going to defend Galliano's actions because they were truly deplorable but you cannot deny that he had a flair, a talent and one of a kind. I was looking back at some of his work with the house and some of the shows and I was blown away. A show that stands out to me is the Spring couture show in 2004 (1, 2), the drama of it and the designs of course were all top notch, I loved the Egyptian influence and the immense volume of some of the pieces. However, I do wonder how Simons will approach the job. He will show his first ever haute couture collection in July this year for the Fall and I'm very excited to see what he does.

Christian Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano 1998

Christian Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano SS08

Raf Simons FW09

Vlada Roslyakova in Jil Sander by Raf Simons FW09

What I'm hoping for is influence from his work at Jil and from his own menswear line being fused into something really interesting. He experimented with exaggerated shapes in 2009 and blasts of neon in 2011 for Jil Sander and worked with blown up sleeves for his line in 2009 and I'm praying they're present in July. 

You can read more at The New York Times, Daily Mail, Reuters and Vogue.

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