Since everyone else has already talked themselves to death about the relative merits of Raf Simons' first Dior Ready-to-Wear collection, it's only fair we give the man of the hour himself a few moments to share his thoughts.
And so the Belgian-born designer took to YouTube to explain his Spring 2013 collection. Hearing a designer — almost any designer, no matter how mild-mannered and modest he seems — is inevitably kind of cringe-worthy, because it sounds like a mixture of meaningless gobbledygook and self-congratulation. And I'm sorry to say that Simons didn't exactly manage to avoid that particular trap.
Here's how he opened his video remarks: "The main idea was about freedom. But also, sensuality, sexuality, the future, the modern, movement."
The second I heard him say that the main idea was about "freedom," I wanted to bang my head against a table. Oh great, you're going to take a word which corresponds to some of the most significant principles in the history of philosophy and throw it around to talk about a runway show. How exactly did your dresses explore the the idea of freedom? Did they swish around a lot?
Listing a number of big, non-aesthetic concepts like "freedom," "sensuality," or (this one kills me) "the future" might make you feel important, like you're doing deeply meaningful work, but it doesn't communicate anything interesting about your collection. And plenty of critics incorporated similar statements by Raf into reviews of the Dior collection without explaining how the clothes managed to convey that message.
I'm being unneccessarily hard on Raf, whose PR director probably just asked him to "sum up [his] collection in six words," or whatever. Every designer says some version of this kind of tripe every season they show a collection, but I just think they should stop. It's unflattering to the designers and boring for us hear. There are more interesting conversations to be had, as Raf evidenced when he kept talking in the video below.
Image via IMAXTree