We read somewhere that Raf Simons wants his dior woman to be recognized in the streets. So the Belgian designer, recently appointed as the artistic director for the  womenswear department, wants to bring the Dior woman to the 21st century. It is such a huge task after two seasons with no leading direction. He has to redefine the whole house like he did at Jil Sander. The Dior woman has to make it to the streets like the Chanel one: "The Chanel woman? I don't even need to see, I smell her from round the corner, but I don't recognize the Dior woman," he said. "I want to work on that fast. Chanel has the deux-pièces with the pockets, or the bouclé, but what is it for Dior nowadays? I can't say." Perhaps Simons points out the Dior era under John galliano, whose obsessions led him to create a phantasmagorical woman, far from the one Christian Dior invented himself.

Re-invention and the re-editon of the Dior wardrobe is the next step for Simons, going back to the signature pieces, not pastiching them, but bringing them to life, like blooming flowers when Spring is coming. Yes it is a kind of rebirth for Dior with Simons, exploring the 50's with his first Couture show and now the tribulations around the Veste Bar, that is to be transformed (simple jackets, simple dresses, embroidered dresses, embroidered oversized jackets). Those are the images we have kept in mind. Actually, there are millions of ideas in this SS13 collection, but the one with the Veste Bar is the one that gives us the most exciting emotion. Wearing a coat like a dress, or giving the illusion there is nothing underneath your jacket, or wearing a black silk and cashmere top with a long satin Duchess and metallic silk skirt for a gardening party....a fantastic tribute to Christian Dior's love for flowers (we got the chance to visit Christian Dior house in Granville and his mesmerizing garden). Simons succeeds in bringing back in our mind who is the Dior woman. Who told you that Romanticism was boring ?

Femininity or perhaps exaggerated femininity is also at the core of the Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen SS13 Collection. About this collection Burton says : “[it] is a study of femininity. We looked at erotica. Vargas girls, cages, corsets and crinolines and the idealisation of the female form. Nothing is set in a particular period. It’s about sensuality and skin but not nudity. We also wanted to express lightness, for the clothes almost to hover over the women who wear them.”

Perhaps Burton forget to mention the Romanticism theme so dear to McQueen. The first part of the collection is articulated around signature tailored jackets that are layered over moulded resin bustier tops and sheer, mid-calf length honeycomb pencil skirts, or cropped panelled trousers. The last part is about the idea of lightness with Burton maxi crinolines made of blooming flowers made of silk organza. These looks are insane, bringing back corsets and cages that remind us of McQueen's obsession about the transformation of the body. It seems obvious that this time Burton is coming back to the basics of McQueen as if her collection was a tribute to McQueen legacy.

All the pictures come from Style website.

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