Dior Fall 2013: Raf Simons Shows Off His Fancy Footwork

Raf Simons‘ second ready-to-wear show for Christian Dior walked today in Paris, which meant we were at our screens bright and early to catch the livestream of the hotly anticipated event. In many ways, it was the perfect start to the morning: a breezy, upbeat collection blending pop art, surrealism, and the well-entrenched codes of the storied French house. In others, namely the noises coming from our headphones, it kicked off the day on a very strange note.

Let’s break it all down, shall we?

The Set:

Simons had his head in the clouds this season, and models had clouds at their feet as they wove between the giant silver Mylar bubbles globbed throughout the space. The effect was dreamy surrealism at its finest and a step beyond the wispy pastel curtains of spring. Plus, we got to see the looks reflected and distorted in every which way as the models breezed past the shiny orbs.

The Soundtrack:

Oh, the soundtrack. Usually this is one of the last things one takes away from a show, but in this case it was just too strange (and, according to many, distracting) to ignore. Simons enlisted famed sound illustrator Michel Gaubert to create a cacophonous mix of spoken word narration detailing a woman’s trip to the vet, Norah Jones‘ soothing tune “Come Away With Me”, sirens, shattering glass, and Laurie Anderson‘s “O Superman”. It gave us the sensation of being in a particularly esoteric MoMA installation — not a bad thing, but not necessarily the perfect accompaniment when you want to focus on the clothing.

The Collection:

As in spring, Simons displayed a featherlight touch with the fall collection, sending out gauzy silk dresses with whimsical prints and voluminous skirts rendered in near-liquid taffeta, along with one perfect coat in the palest pink, its cream sash knotted artfully at the neck. Oversized houndstooth came in to play as well, as did graphic knit pieces and a slew of strapless dresses that we expect to see Marion Cotillard or Jennifer Lawrence sporting on the red carpet any day now.

The Accessories:

We would be remiss not to mention the shoes, especially since they didn’t just appear on models’ feet. As part of the brand’s collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation, many of the late, great pop artist’s illustrations of shoes were stitched on to handbags and printed and embroidered on silk dresses. Our favorites, however, were the ones planted on the floor. Simons has clearly been mining the Dior footwear archives — and who can blame him? While for spring he referenced the curved “choc” heel Roger Vivier designed while head of the atelier, today he showed shoes with heels placed just behind the ball of the foot, creating a silhouette that appeared to be a modern version of the revolutionary “New Style” heel that got Vivier booted from his job some 50 years ago. And that, folks, concludes your mini-history lesson for the day.

See the collection, detail shots, and front row sightings (why hello there, Frank Ocean!) in the gallery, and watch a video of the show below:

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