A couple of hours ago, around midnight (Malaysian time), I was just scrolling through my Instagram feed for the last time before bedtime, and there it was: WWD broke the news that Raf Simons is leaving Dior. Bearing in mind that this was 12am, and I had a super long day which started at 3am yesterday, I was not only shocked, but also quite sad that he was going to leave Dior, and that that the recent Spring/Summer 16 show that he presented just a few weeks ago, was his last collection for the brand.
According to WWD, Simons's departure from Dior was due to an inability to come to agreement on his new employment contract as well as personal reasons:
It is after careful and long consideration that I have decided to leave my position as creative director of Christian Dior’s women’s collection ... It is a decision based entirely and equally on my desire to focus on other interests in my life, including my own brand, and the passions that drive me outside my work. Christian Dior is an extraordinary company, and it has been an immense privilege to write a few pages of this magnificent book. I want to thank Mr. Bernard Arnault for the trust he has put in me, giving me the incredible opportunity to work at this beautiful house surrounded by the most amazing team one could ever dream of. I have also had the chance over the last few years to benefit from the leadership of Sidney Toledano. His thoughtful, heartfelt and inspired management will also remain as one of the most important experiences of my professional career.
I had come to really really like his designs, and Nicolas Ghesquiere aside (those of you who have been following this blog would know that he's my favourite designer ever), Simons was really growing on me, and had become another favourite, although perhaps I never really expressed this in the way I did when it came to Ghesquiere.
Simons had taken over Dior in April 2012, making his debut with the Maison's Haute Couture presentation, a world which he wasn't familiar with -- we all saw this in the film Dior and I --, because he had only ever designed Ready-to-Wear collections prior to that. He nevertheless came through, and has proven to the fashion world, that he, too, could be a couturier. Not only had Simons properly taken over as Creative Director after the whole Galliano debacle (with Bill Gayten who served as an interim of sorts), he had breathed new life into Dior, modernising the House, but yet, still retaining and reviving many things that Monsieur Dior himself designed, but with a modern twist.
Personally, I hadn't really been a fan of Dior, but I had recently begun to like it more and more since Simons had taken over the design helm thanks to the ways in which he revolutionised Maison Dior by bringing his own flair to the brand -- when I say this, I'm quite certain that this rings true for a lot of my dear readers out there too. It is undeniable that Simons made Dior more commercially and aesthetically appealing, and consumers more willing to fork out those dollars on the RTW collections. The 47-year-old designer leaves Dior at the height of his career, and I can't wait to see where he is going next!
Now let's us take a moment to look back at the amazing work he has done at Dior
|Raf's Dior Debut in April 2012 for the first ever Haute Couture collection designed in his career|
|Spring 13 Haute Couture|
As for Dior, WWD has reported the contenders for the now open Creative Director position: Riccardo Tisci is the most likely, Alber Elbaz, Jonathan Anderson, McCollough and Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, and Pierpaolo Piccoli and Maria Grazia Chiuri of Valentino (No! I want them to stay at Valentino!, lol).
Who do you think it would be?
All SS16 photos courtesy of Dior.
Images of previous collections via Vogue Runway