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Dior’s ‘femme animale’

By Carolyn Enting

Dior’s ‘femme animale’
Raf Simons has created an exotic new species with his autumn/winter 15-16 collection of abstract animal prints.

Florals may be a traditional source of inspiration for the House of Dior but this season Christian Dior artistic director Raf Simons turned his inner gaze to the animal kingdom instead.

The collection moves from the garden of the ‘femme fleur’ towards the terrain of the ‘femme animale’.

“I wanted the collection to deal with nature and femininity in a different way,” said Simons. “Away from the garden and the flower, to something more liberated, darker and more sexual … The idea of animals and an abstraction of their patterns became key; none of them literal, more the invention of a new species.”


Even though the collection is thoroughly modern, stepping firmly into the future with transparent-heeled vinyl boots and abstracted patterned knitted body suits, it referenced the past too. Here Dior’s revolutionary use of leopard print in his first 1947 offering found full flow in Simons 2015-16 interpretation. Abstracted and contrasted in a startling, hyper-natural colour palette, accessorised with bags echoing the idea of a new exotic species.


“I wanted that feeling of a sensory overload in the collection,” said Simons. “With this animalistic sexual woman wearing a new kind of camouflage.”



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