If I were appointed head designer of Dior, one of the oldest and most beloved couture houses in the world, after a highly-publicized yearlong search for a successor to the extremely talented and deeply disturbed John Galliano, whose scandalous dismissal from the brand polarized the fashion industry, I would probably put all my other responsibilities on the back burner and turn all my attention to designing and producing my very first collection for the label.
Raf Simons will make his Dior debut at Paris Couture Week on July 2. The Belgian designer's been tasked with creating a collection which will be regarded as a kind of blueprint to his future agenda and vision. Couture collections are not created for the sake of retail, but to capture the imagination of fashion editors and other obsessives and set the tone for the rest of the brand.
It's a tall order, but it doesn't seem like Simons is tweeking. The designer is hard at work on his debut collection — today's WWD reports that he'll relocate the show to a nontraditional venue, a vacant mansion on the Avenue d’Iéna in Paris — but even though the big day is fast approaching, he's still knee-deep in his other position, designing menswear for his eponymous label.
Today Raf Simons unveiled his Fall 2012 campaign, which includes both a print and video component. The images are surreal and haunting, a kind of neo-cubist Photoshop mashup of figures and limbs. It's much safer for a fashion campaign to veer into the experimental than it is for more mass-market advertising, but you're still taking some kind of risk anytime you try to sell clothing with the help of one-armed two-headed men. I'm just saying, this is not the sort of thing you can just slap together — a campaign like this requires thought and care. And I'm just so impressed that right now, Simons can think and care about something besides Dior.
Images via WENN.com, RafSimons.com