Tuesday, June 5, 2012


When Raf Simons,  the talented Belgian creative director at Jil Sander, showed what happened to be his final Sander collection, he sent out a stand-out dress with fabric and over-weave of threads (fil de coupe) printed in an icy-yet-tender-neon paisley motif.  This for a label that is minimalist down to its bones. And yes, this little paisley seemed to send a message, maybe "I'm going to fly away." The dress and a few paisley companions were magazine features and were also displayed up center in a march of mannequins on the sales floor at Barney's New York. Jil Sander was to return to her namesake company next season round.

Shortly after the shows, the even bigger announcement came.  Simons was to become the new creative director of Dior.  And the "Fashion Chew" began with most fashionistas questioning Dior's decision. Was it a good fit? They named names they liked more than Simons. What would become of Dior?

A brilliant analysis by WWD's Miles Socha in the Fall 2012 Collections magazine spoke to today's role of creative director in fashion brand.  Socha is right, brand or image has all the power right now.  He selects a perfect quote from Karl Lagerfeld:  "It's my job to do the image of the companies, not to go on an ego trip." 

I cannot foretell what Simons will present for his first haute couture Dior collection this July but I am of the belief that both Dior and Simons are smart enough to stick to image with maybe a wink of what we saw with the neon paisley.  Simons seems to be all work and little ego.   

But isn't it interesting that the designer recruits the tender-but-powerful paisley to send his little side message?  JP    

The little paisley travels well.