Raf Simons and Delphine Arnoult

Delphine Arnoult
I would like to focus today on two most important people at the couture house of Dior: its chief new designer Raf Simons and Bernard Arnault's daughter- Delphine, who is a deputy general manager of the brand. After Galliano's departure about two years ago, it took the company more than a year to find his replacement. There were several candidates being considered for the job but Simons didn't seem to be a very obvious choice. Cathy Horyn of "The New York Times" explained why: "But while Mr. Simons is influential, having started the trend for bright colors that has washed over much of the affordable clothing market, and was in discussions in 2010 with the French rival PPR about taking over Yves Saint Laurent, he was not widely seen as a candidate for Dior. His minimalist designs for Jil Sander seemed at odds with Dior's ultra-femininity. And he is a low-key presence in a business that tends to love Barnum types".
Dior Couture Spring 2013 (Simonss) and Spring 2011 (Galliano)
Delphine Arnault was very influential when it came to picking a new Dior designer- temperamentally opposite of Galliano. She has been working for Dior (which apparently owns LVMH or at least part of it, not the other way around, which would seem logical; however, I was never able to figure out technicalities of this business arrangement) for many years and was very attached to Galliano. His ousting came as a big surprise and disappointment to her.
Raf Simons
I have always been such a huge fan of Galliano-esque Dior, so it is very hard for me to be objective when it comes to a new designer. Galliano has been associated with the brand for so long (he was at the helm of Dior for more years than Mr. Christian Dior himself) and was able to seduce his fashion show's attendees, which is a very rare and unseen quality. He was a showman with flamboyant personality and brilliant, creative mind, while Simons barely even peeked out from backstage at the end of his shows at Jil Sander. Galliano's spectacular fashion shows were real sensory overloads, while Simons's collections were described as minimalistic. And don't get me wrong, there are many beautiful minimalistic designs, they just don't seem to fit Galliano-created Dior. Raf Simons's style was always perceived as very different from that of his predecessor. Tim Blanks of http://www.style.com/ said it so eloquently: "Where Galliano achieved the same thing by amping up the house till it matched his own delirious, romantic, saturatingly sensual historicism, Simons took a long, cool look at the heritage and found the strictness, the rigor, and a different kind of sensuality". Apparently, Simons studied Dior's archives very carefully and soon after his appointment received a lovely gift from Alber Elbaz- pink Dior 1957 dress from Lanvin archives.
Dior Couture Fall 2012 (Simons) and Fall 2010 (Galliano)
Chciałabym zająć się dzisiaj dwiema najważniejszymi osobami w domu mody Dior. Jedną z nich jest oczywiście główny projektant Raf Simons, drugą- córka Bernarda Arnault - Delphine. Po odejściu Galliano potrzebowano aż roku na znalezienie jego następcy. Pojawiały się pogłoski o różnych potencjalnych kandydatach, jednak nazwisko Simonsa było gdzieś na końcu. O tym, dlaczego tak się stało, napisała Cathy Horyn w "The New York Times": "But while Mr. Simons is influential, having started the trend for for bright colors that has washed over much of the affordable clothing market, and was in discussions in 2010 with the French rival PPR about taking over Yves Saint Laurent, he was not widely seen as a candidate for Dior. His minimalist designs for Jil Sander seemed at odds with Dior's ultra-femininity. And he is a low-key presence in a business that tends to love Barnum types".
Głos Delphine Arnault był decydujący w podjęciu decyzji o zatrudnieniu Simonsa. Pracująca od wielu lat dla Diora (warto tutaj zaznaczyć, że z biznesowego punktu widzenia to Dior jest wlaścicielem LVMH, a nie-jak mogłoby się wydawać-odwrotnie) Delphine była podobno mocno zżyta z Galliano i z trudem przyjęła jego odejście.
Byłam zawsze tak wielką fanką "Gallianowskiego Diora", że trudno mi wypowiadać się obiektywnie o jego następcy. Galliano był związany z Diorem przez wiele lat (pracował dla marki dłużej niż sam jej założyciel Christian Dior) i był jednym z nielicznych, jeśli nie jedynym, który potrafił "uwieść" publiczność swoich pokazów. Był artystą o barwnej osobowości i kreatywnym umyśle, podczas gdy Raf Simons nie pokazywał się nawet czasami pod koniec swoich pokazów dla Jil Sander. Podczas gdy pokazy Galliano angażowały wszystkie zmysły, Simons kreował bardzo minimalistyczne kolekcje. I proszę mnie źle nie zrozumieć, nie mam nic przeciwko temu, natomiast chodzi mi o to, że nie pasują one zupełnie do wykreowanego przez Galliano Diora. Style obu projektantów były zupełnie różne. "Where Galliano achieved the same thing by amping up the house till it matched his own delirious, romantic, saturatingly sensual historicism, Simons took a long, cool look at the heritage and found the strictness, the rigor, and a different kind of sensuality" (Tim Blanks).
Po objęciu swojego stanowiska Simons przestudiowal dokładnie archiwa Diora, otrzymał również piękny prezent od Albera Elbaza- różową sukienkę Diora z 1957 roku, która znajdowała się dotychczas w archiwum Lanvin.

Ewa Bytomska

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