Monday Muse: Andy Warhol Inspires Raf Simons at Christian Dior

Dior Fall 2013

Dior Fall 2013

Andy Warhol and Raf Simons have more in common than you’d think. One is a fashion designer with the weight of an entire couture house (some would say the weight of the entire world of couture) on his Belgian shoulders; the other was an artist lauded for the embrace of the now. The latest actresses, the latest technique, the latest hot spots were all fodder for Warhol’s work. What they do have in common, however, is the spotlight of the entire world trained on their work. At Dior, every stitch of the Warhol-inspired ready-to-wear collection that Simons sent out onto the runway was scrutinized and proved that — like Warhol — this is a man in complete control of his craft.

Just as Warhol took the youngest ingenues under his wing, Simons cast the brightest young models to walk in his second ready-to-wear collection for Dior.

What they wore was a collection that blended the signature sleek lines Simons is known for with embellishments worthy of a storied fashion house. The models (not the usual super names) walked on a stage inspired by Warhol’s silver factory — huge reflective orbs and blobs hung above the runway — and the lean Simons silhouettes were decorated with Warhol’s shoes, flowers and illustrated ladies. Iconic house favorites, such as the Lady Dior Bag and New Look Bar Jackets were given the gilded lily treatment with gold shoes and technicolor blooms. The most compelling pieces, however, used Warhol’s drawings in piecemeal: an eye here, a flower there, creating a sort of Warhol best-of shift or skirt that gallerinas and socialites will be snatching up as soon as they hit the sales floor.

But where Warhol used everyday items and downtown Manhattan as his touchstones, Dior’s clientele might prefer Simons’s high take on Warhols’ low-brow (at the time, at least) favorites on couture-caliber ready-to-wear instead. And like critics swooned over the entire collection, we can’t wait to see each piece out in the real world on both cool downtown girls and uptown ladies alike.