>> Firstly, I apologise if the blog comes off looking like there's been a deliberate Dior takeover this week. Nothing sinister I can assure you. I had those haute couture pictures sitting on the desktop for a while and spring is finally in bloom so up they went. Next Saturday, I'm also very fortunate to be attending the Dior Cruise show in Monaco and they very kindly offered out pieces from their S/S 13 collection to wear for the occasion - something that I'd normally object to in most instances (I inexplicably can't shake that cheeseball feeling of wearing clothes by the designer of the show you're attending) but I felt so much love for that first Raf Simons for Dior ready-to-wear collection that it would have been churlish to say no. The sun will be out. The heady optimism of that graphically precise collection will suit the climate. Even if I don't necessarily do the clothes justice.
What I do object to though is the idea of the prescribed total look. Head-to-toe brand adulation. Straight forward runway ensemble replication, from the clothes to the shoes to the bag. I'm waiting for Business of Fashion or the like, to do some sort of exposé on the number of editorials in magazines that have to comply with brands' imposing rules on shooting total looks - as in everything on one page belonging to one brand - without any other brands mixed in, so that the obligations of advertiser credits are fully met. It's something that strikes me as a sad state of affairs when you see limitations being imposed on talented stylists. Without pointing fingers at specific brands (and it has to be said, different rules apply at different publications), it's a restriction that has become increasingly militant in print media in recent years.
It's a bit more of a wild wild West here in blogland where shoots aren't formal and advertiser credits aren't in existence (yet). It could be that Dior may not want their clothes polluted with my shadypairings but what strikes me as interesting with Raf Simons' new verve for Dior, is the mixability potential of the clothes and so with a few of the options that they sent over on loan, I had a jolly time playing around with them. The colours of this particular collection almost beg for extra layers and contrasts to be thrown in with them. Whilst Dior ready-to-wear is still largely only available from Dior's own boutiques, its repositioning with its wholesale business at multi-brand boutiques means that it sheds an entirely different light on the brand. Both 10 Corso Como in Milan and colette in Paris hosted pop-up shop events to fete the Dior S/S 13 collection, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe Dior ready-to-wear has rarely ever had an ecommerce presence (there are currently S/S 13 pieces available on colette) - that in itself already makes Dior feel more tangible (note, I say tangible, not accessbible - the prices are WELL up there). That desire to mix the clothes in amongst a new generation of customers will only increase. Why shouldn't the clothes sit next to the likes of Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha and even Simons' old employer Jil Sander? Hell, throw some Nike, Topshop and Whistles in there whilst we're at it.
Therefore come next week at the Dior Cruise show, it's highly unlikely that I'll look like a Dior goody-two-shoes, perked and poised with head-to-toe Dior. I ain't ever gonna be no show-pony. Despite the idea of a total look feeling like a dated power-dressing concept, leftover from the 1980s or early 90s, it seems we've not quite moved passed it, especially when there are a growing number of show ponies (celebrities, actresses from China etc) still very much eager to don a total look and clothes are lent out to stylists with strict conditions. That idea just doesn't reflect the way we actually dress and how our wardrobes are composed in reality. I'll be curious to see whether total look sensibility seeps into fashion blog culture just as blogs increasingly adopt practises of print media. My wardrobe sensibility will be fighting it with persistence though if it does because frankly, where's the fun in head-to-toe anything?