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Raf Simons looked to the old masters of Flemish painting and to the artisanal masters of haute couture for his latest haute couture autumn-winter 15/16 collection for Christian Dior.

Described as a “garden of earthly delights” the presentation was a vision of innocence and experience, simplicity and luxury, beauty and decadence through the eyes of Flemish and French masters of art and craft.

“I was intrigued by the idea of forbidden fruit, and what that meant now,” says Simons. “The idea of purity and innocence versus luxury and decadence and how that is encapsulated by the idea of Dior’s garden – no longer a flower garden but a sexual one.”

The original inspiration came from the Flemish masters and their approach to painting.

“It’s the tension between decrying luxury and the embracing of it; the mastery of craft and the beauty of artistic gesture; the reality and the unreality; you can’t have one without the other,” Simons says.

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