I think it's safe to say that Raf has settled in nicely at Dior. He has this uncanny ability to blend seasons, blend ready-to-wear and haute couture -- and most recently, a way of blending his very conceptual shapes with the history of the House of Dior. It wasn't an easy task, I'm sure, but his fluidity and ability to adapt so quickly made the transition look virtually seamless. In part, what creates the beautiful marriage of House and man in this case is the underlying resemblance of interests of both Christian Dior himself and Mr. Simons.
This collection, though a fall collection, had an incredibly light demeanor. The runway, for one, was decorated with cloud-covered floors and giant mirrored balloons that project the clothes. They widened and narrowed with the position and distance of the model from the balloon, parlaying into the heavy surrealist influence of the clothes.
Andy Warhol's early drawings - of shoes, bags, 1920s women, flowers - were prevalent on the clothing and bags of this collection. In comparison, these earlier drawings of Warhol's were the perfect match for the collection: it played with that iconic importance of fashion illustration in the broader history and development of the industry. When the drop-waist, satin dresses came out, they elicited images of the early '20's Harper's Bazaar illustrations, documenting the rogue, androgynous and elegant designs that grade the era.
Ironically, there wasn’t really at all a nostalgic air, what with the shapes synonymous with the Dior DNA, or even with the drawings we had seen before. Rather, it played more toward what Raf called "memory dresses." These dresses were the lightest ones of the collection, now suddenly resembling fine pieces of tissue paper (perhaps adorned with a few words from a first love) that had escaped from their bindings and drifted away in the wind (cue: cloud floors, Raf's aesthetic with that of Dior's, etc).
It's not really a collection that can be broken down into parts, or have individual pieces. Rather, it has to be consumed on a whole. I think what Simons has done with surrealism this season is a really important resurrection. It looks unto the true meaning of fashion: it's a way to express and enhance mundane things with the beauty of our imaginations. It's real, but it's not. It's tangible, but it's not. It's beautiful.... there's no way I can use parallelism with that.