PHOTOS: Everything You Need To Know About Raf Simons’ First Dior RTW Show

We’ll admit we were pretty giddy with anticipation this morning as we watched the crowd settle down at Raf Simons’ first-ever ready-to-wear show for Christian Dior, not three months after his much-lauded couture show marked his debut with the house. Unfortunately, we were at our desks in New York rather than in the stark white box of a venue the brand set up on the Esplanade des Invalides in Paris, but that fact barely diminished our excitement. Between Twitter, Instagram, and livestreaming, there’s plenty to take in even if you’re 3,000 miles away.

Let’s start with the front row: Natalia Vodianova took her seat next to boyfriend and LVMH scion Antoine Arnault, along with Diane von Furstenberg, Ines de la Fressange, Leelee Sobieski, Leigh Lezark, Eva Herzigova, and the somewhat befuddling Robert De Niro (who knew he was such a fan?). And although he won’t be putting on his own show this season, Kanye West made his first front row appearance of Paris Fashion Week, and he did it sans Kim Kardashian.

As for the show itself, the aforementioned white box was divided into color-coded salons, the doorways of which were shod with billowing filmy curtains — a much simpler look than the floral walls that lined the couture venue, but a beautiful one nonetheless. The first group of models cut a fine figure in black tailored suits and sashes tied tight at the neck. The rest of the collection offered more color, as abbreviated dresses in pastel organza gave way to Simons’ signature juicy hues on asymmetrical tops with ruffles that swum behind them. There were echoes of the past — both that of the storied house and Simons’ own –in the New Look and trapeze silhouettes, as well as the rendition of the choc heeled shoe that Roger Vivier created when he helmed Dior’s footwear atelier some 50 years ago.

But it was also without question a modern outing, from the pops of neon to the abstract embellishments and slithering striped organza. Even the models were starry-eyed thanks to the sparkling, saturated lids that Pat McGrath dreamed up backstage. It was a fresh new beginning for a house steeped in history and not a little bit of turbulence as of late. Now we just have to wait ’till Monday to see how the seemingly endless comparisons to Saint Laurent ParisHedi Slimane hold up.

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