Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fashion Musical Chairs - Raf Simons, Jil Sander, Stefano Pilati and Hedi Slimane

Between being perennially sick for the past month or more, having only four 'official' weeks of my pregnancy to go, and my house/life being absolute chaos at the moment, I realized I am quite 'out of the loop' fashion-wise, when I found out through my friend's husband (yes, husband! For some reason he always has finger firmly placed on the fashion pulse, even though he is in no way involved in that field) that Stefano Pilati left YSL to be replaced by Hedi Slimane. And then, I found out through lovely Modediktat's tweet, that Raf Simons was to be the new designer for Dior!

I laughed to myself that this really is 'Fashion Musical Chairs', and lo and behold, today I received an update email from AnOther magazine, saying the exact same thing, with the diagram I had imagined in my head:

Fashion Musical Chairs 2012 Diagram by Laura Bradley
(AnOther Magazine)

Raf Simons, Jil Sander, Hedi Slimane and Stefano Pilati – shifting places in the last 4 months.

What? It began with John Galliano's anti-Semitic comments last year and followed with the dismissal of the designer from Christian Dior; a position he had held since 1996. Next came the announcement in February that Jil Sander would return to her eponymous label she founded in 1968, leaving Raf Simons without a role as a womenswear designer. Following news that Stefano Pilati would leave Yves Saint Laurent, there were rumours that Simons was in talks with the Parisian house only to be quashed when the house announced Hedi Slimane as its new creative director. Simons destination was last night confirmed at Christian Dior, where he will oversee women's ready-to-wear, haute couture and accessory collections. Pilati's next move is yet to be announced.

Why? There are many interesting months ahead. In June, Hedi Slimane will debut women's resort and Sander, her men's ready-to-wear. In July, Simons will show his inaugural Dior couture collection. It's exciting to think about Simons' addition to the couture roster (and what difference it will make to the red carpet). "I am fascinated with what could be the relevance of the language of couture in the 21st Century", he told Cathy Horyn, a longstanding supporter of the Belgian designer, for The New York Times. Whilst it's still early days, it seems Simons is the perfect fit for the prestigious Parisian house. In his role at Jil Sander, he demonstrated an acute balance of modernity and elegance; particularly in his last two collections. In hindsight, the coat-clutching, Grace Kelly curls and sparkling jewellery were more in the vein of Dior than they were Sander, a house known for its minimalist codes. (...) Bring on the new Dior era.

(text above from AnOther magazine)

At first my mind boggled: Raf Simons for Dior???

But I agree with Laura Bradley that Raf's last collection did appear more Dior than Jil Sander:

pic via Garance Dore and Browns Fashion

How absolutely gorgeous is that dress on Browns Fashion? I swooned when I saw it, and swooned again when I saw its price tag...

"I don't think it's wrong to call me a minimalist. It's wrong to call me a minimalist only," Raf said. 'I am also a romantic person...when I'm married to a house, I will fully embrace its original intention, its heritage and meaning.' 'I wouldn't go to that place if I only had minimalism in mind. I'm very aware of what the environment is about.'

I cannot wait to see what he will bring to Dior's Couture show in July...


  1. Well, I think we can get excited about what will be coming up next.... Hedi Slimane for YSL will be very nice, I can imagine. I wasn't a big fan of Pilati (sorry!). I always admired the clean, sleek chic of Slimane when it's coming to suits and I'll be keen on a suit designed by him for YSL!
    Well.... I still don't know what to say about Raf Simons at Dior. I'm still melancholic that Galliano isn't there any more... I'm not jumping to the "ban him" band wagon. Simons could jump into the Givenchy corner maybe. Gosh, let's wait and see what name he'll give himself to see which tradition he'll follow (like the popes do...), hehehe.
    Happy weekend, darling!
    Will write you a mail now - just found your dm!

  2. I don't know much about raf, but I was just thinking isn't he a bit minimalist. But looking back at his finale in hindsight it has elements of dior. For some reason, I'm not as excited as I should be about slimane's return to fashion--but I think that has more to do with a general malaise towards "fashion and runway" versus when I was younger and really was more passionate about it. I mean, I haven't really been following what tom ford does for his own label.

  3. That Jil Sander is absolutely gorgeous. I don't claim to know anything about "fashion politics" or switcharoo's, but that dress with the full skirt is just gorgeous!

  4. lovely dress! I adore that 50s silhouette, so elegant!
    kisses from paris,

  5. I feel like Raf will do some beautiful work at Dior and I can't wait to see it! I agree his work at Jil Sander had a Dior feel to it.
    Great blog by the way, I just found it and am a new follower :)

  6. I am very excited for Hedi Slimane @ YSL. Raf @ Dior is extremely exciting - to see how he'll mix his aesthetic with that of Dior's. The Jil Sander above is glorioussss.

    x Peter @

  7. We looove your blog!

  8. That Jill Sander dress is perfect!
    Good Luck with your blog, I'm sure you'll do great :)