Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kool-Aid is a controlled substance.

A day after the Dior couture show, I've been replaying the show, my impression and the reviews and comments I've read. To a degree I feel guilty for not prostrating myself and crawling to the frig for a Kool-Aid pick me up. Cathy Horyn's verdict that he's "taken charge of the house" and made something that will change everything we thought of as Haute couture before still leaves me confused and cold. That a new energy has found its way into this dusty corner giving young and old a reason to mortgage their homes, sell their kids and rob ATM machines to get a piece of this precious rock.

I'm quick to judge and have lived 9 lives worth of regrets for not always giving someone or something their fair shake. I'm a purist, I'll admit. But not a purist in the sense that I am lost in the past and only respond to what is romantic, old school or sentimental. I'm a purist in the sense that I respond to things that are a clear and unfettered statement, a creative move forward. In that sense there were a few items that struck me in Simons' collection for Dior but it was overwhelmingly derivative of the past, with the benefit of a rendering pot to boil away the most obvious references. Gone were the layers and layers, the copious underpinnings, the miles of taffeta, satins and chiffon, the mind-bending embroidery, the accessories and yes, the spirit that made these presentations a portal to an untraveled universe. In short, all traces of Galliano, Gaytten, Ferre, Bohan, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior were swept away.

The new, new Kool-Aid stand
That's fine with me. What wasn't so fine was what he offered as the New New Look of the house. Banal, amped up sportswear, juiced up Pret a Porter for fashionistas who love their Raf lite. What will the rest of the world who did not worship at the alter of Sander think when he was the resident priest? Will they flock to his new congregation? Will his sermon of couture "tweet speak" be enough to convert? Is preaching to the junior choir in the front row enough? Will sales increase at the same rate they have under the direction of Bill Gaytten after Galliano's exit? Will the majority of disillusioned commenters on many of the blogs have a voice that actually gets heard? Is the next Pret presentation in September and the next couture collection in January or February going to be the real moment of reckoning? Like I said yesterday, many editors are proclaiming this collection the game changer. I say "le Kool-Aid" is the drink dujour in Paris this week. The only problem is the after taste; it smacks of 2 parts champagne and 1 part fear sweat. 
Le Kool-Aid fountain!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do not undermine the power of Mr. Arnault. No decision there, is made lightly; who can you count on to support your decision when you are the head of LVMH?
Who wanted Raf at DIOR ? I saw again and again the youtube video of the show, and caught a glimpse, pause, start, pause, start again of Mr Elbaz , Tim Blanks,and W editor Stefano Tonchi and la Roitfeld. All bored to death, clapping correctly at the end...This was not what they expected , BUT that is what we got . Cathy Horn was being pleasant and hopeful. He did not take control of the house at all, the fact that he did not salute at the end dressed as an admiral does not mean he controls the house of Dior!!!!!!! We shall see...As one of your reader mentioned, easy for 7th avenue to copy...The ones who do not drink the koolaid feel better the next day !
Spirou

chris in sf said...

When Ford left Gucci it was also a massive power vacuum that had to filled and, with some missteps, for the most part, the new collections still say "Gucci". It remains to be seen what will happen at Dior but, I'm not holding my breath.. If I was a woman of means, I would skip this entirely and start hunting for some vintage Dior by Galiano as a real investment....

iain said...

What exactly is there to copy that's not already in the stores as we speak?

iain said...

What exactly is there to copy that hasn't been in stores already?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.. is it wrong to say..."I told you so.." after talking with a friend who works in the Dior HC ateliers;said with a bemused smile - "Raf has been in(this was in FEB. Before the announcement of his succession)and his ideas are very different..."?

Fluff Chance said...

That last comment was a little vague. Can you elaborate just a tiny bit more?
Fluff

Anonymous said...

Fluff....Cathy was always a big Raf supporter, so take that w/ a grain of salt.

Arnault made a huge misstep here like he did w/ McQ at Givenchy. Sales are gonna plummet because he has tried to inject the DNA of one aesthetic in place of another.

brooksie

Anonymous said...

I could spend an hour translating the comments from L'express/styles: 3 rd of july: Les fleurs de Raf Simons.
http://blogs.lexpress.fr/cafe=mode/2012/07/03lobjet-du-jour-les-fleurs-de-raf-simons/#comments
It's hot and I am lazy today. Just a few pieces for you though:
Too timid, not daring enough,stuned by the ultra thin girls, bone thin,it is an anorexia delight,boring, ennuyeux,will we have to wait for the end of his contract to get some sublime as he did with Jil Sander?
Poor thin girls dressed as Ladies, pityful,the ensemble was sad,blend,flowers were great though...A total let down, boring,it was not not a CD show,not at all sensual,the girls were scary,thank god for the flowers,Maybe elegant but not chic because of the lack of audacity,it was flat, austere,no dream there....And on and on....Maybe the French drink less Koolaid....The comments were always polite and pleasant , hoping for the next better show...but the reviews are not good.
Spirou

Anonymous said...

" business of fashion" a Kool-aid drinker blog by the gallon ! But I read his article today on Market pulse/worry in China, Drama in Europe weigh on Luxury sector.He is skimming the problem of course as we know who pays his bills, but it's that obvious that even our Koolaid drinkers pay attention suddenly. Maybe Raf is just mirroring the European mood !
Spirou

Anonymous said...

Hello Fluff,
Well yes/no(after all I have to protect my sources) I meant "I could've told you so..." refers to the idea of Raf taking over is/was kinda "meh" moment...As for him visiting in Feb, the person thought that the ideas of what he wanted to do for THIS HC collection were as they put it "interesting, different from M. Galliano..(with a LLOOONNNGG pause)"...lol

Fluff Chance said...

Somehow all of your comments went to outer space for a day or so. Thanks for weighing in. I enjoy the conversation more than listening to myself rant or rave, whichever the case may be. Dear Anonymous source protector: thanks for getting back to me/us. You should be writing this one. I. for one, would be all eyes and ears! Happy weekend all and now for a bit more on the other players.
fluff

Anonymous said...

Interestingly even loosing is winning in this situation. As we all know Couture doesn't really sell but is used as an unbrella and for publicity purposes. Because even bad publicity is good for the brand the very fact that everyone is talking about it serves a certain purpose and in the end has it's benefits. I completely agree that this horse seemed to stay at the gate when everyone expected him to wear all those flowers in the room lavishly around his neck in complete triumph. Unfortunately not the case here. I do belive in Raf and think he is a great talent but I am not sure that this was a match made in heaven but instead perhaps a "meh"-match. Time will tell but the house has our attention as we wait for the next installment hoping that Cathy Horns comments are solidified rather than the over zealous Raf-rantings of an Arnault-a-file securing her spot amongst the adulators of big fashion business. The looser here is the viewer and fashion enthusiast who once again becomes the fashion victim.