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Dior Shows Its First Collection Without Raf Simons Since 2012

Photo: Getty.
On Monday afternoon came one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the luxury fashion calendar: the Dior spring 2016 couture show in Paris. For its first womenswear offering since creative director Raf Simons' surprise departure in October, the brand turned to its in-house designers Serge Ruffieux and Lucie Meier to continue its legacy of offbeat femininity.

With years of high-end fashion credentials under their belts — Ruffieux joined Dior in 2008 during John Galliano's tenure and became head designer in 2012 when Simons took over; Meier was head-hunted by the company after a five-year stint at Louis Vuitton under Marc Jacobs, followed by time at Balenciaga with Nicolas Ghesquière — and a lack of urgency for the house to appoint someone new at the helm, the pair crafted a collection that meshed signature Dior with Simons' vision of modernity.

Surrounded by a dazzling mirrored decor in Musée Rodin, models (including Binx Walton, Lineisy Montero, and Molly Bair) took the runway, reflected from every angle. Proving that no bold-faced personality tied to a label is necessary for its success, Ruffieux and Meier presented a selection of understated-but-beautiful bare-shouldered silhouettes, lacy pieces, nipped-in waists with exquisite tailoring, and the most intricate diamanté embellishments and Lily of the Valley prints. Present, too, was the inventive layering Simons made popular: a red off-the-shoulder three-quarter-sleeved tee on top of a shimmery black bustier-style piece; a super-thin knit paired with an unconventional menswear-inspired vest; a netted minidress with an oversized white blazer. Though the usual gowns were missing from the finale, the simple-but-sweet cocktail dresses made up for it.
Photo: Getty.
The front row was filled with familiarity: Olivia Palermo, Anna Dello Russo, and Carine Roitfeld sat by, anticipating what the new Dior (or rather, the Dior of-the-moment) has to prove. It's yet to be revealed whether the future collections will also be designed by this (undoubtedly capable) in-house team, or if a new creative director will be announced imminently — whatever the outcome, it seems like the house (and its legacy) will be just fine.