Eighteenth Century

Christian Dior. Trend: Find the future in the past

Christian Dior’s Spring/Summer’15 collection was a continuation of his previous couture show in which he associated historical clothing with a twenty-first century twist. Raf Simons describes that he was “interested in the process of finding something extremely modern through something very historical” which is evident to see he succeeded in.

“It was an idea of confronting what people now think is an aesthetic that is modern – it felt more modern to go to the far past, not the ‘modernised’ look of the last decade” – Raf Simons.


The traditional ‘Robe a la Française’ and Raf Simon’s reinterpretaton in the Spring/Summer’15 collection

By modernising eighteen century clothing allows the collection to be more accessible to a wider audience than Raf Simons’ previous couture collection, although they had the same notion. Bodices became skirts and jackets converted into blouses to give the formality an additional contemporary feel. Raf Simons took the traditional Robe a la Française, and created a cotton bodice to further modernised historical dress, providing a practical, yet traditional garment, whilst simultaneously keeping the eighteenth century inspired print.


Flight Suit a la Français


Christian Dior by Raf Simons. Spring/Summer’15

Similarly, the ‘Flight Suit a la Français’ uniform from the eighteenth century was refashioned by removing heavy masculine material (washed silk satins and thick calf leather) to light velvet and silks to give a feminine authority amongst the clothing. The coats became minimalistic versions of their former selves with a modicum of embroidered embellishments.The models wore the ‘Court coats’ of the eighteenth century with white skater’s shorts which consequently in turn contributed the historical modern look.

Due to Raf Simons starting this trend in his previous Haute couture collection and continuing the process to the ‘ready-to-wear’ allows the assumption of the ‘Trickle Down’ theory, where couture and expensive garnets influence ready to wear and furthermore high street collections.

Christian Dior was a large supporter of femininity, yet within the eighteenth century, females did not have rights which is so vital to be a female in the modern context. The twenty-first century debate is largely on the topic of feminism, (highlighted by Emma Watson’s speech for the United Nations ‘HeForShe’ campaign, which has brought this topic in to the public’s eye) thus, by clashing together authoritative uniforms of the eighteenth century and reconstructed them to a feminine yet practical design allows the link to be made for authority females within the twenty-first century. Chanel’s Spring/Summer’15 collection also highlights this campaign where the models protested down the catwalk, leaving a large statement within this area of conversation.

“White is pure and simple and matches with everything”
Christian Dior

Keeping to the trend of minimalism, Christian Dior’s collection largely contains clothing of pure white, where the focal point can remain on the cut rather than having a destruction on the print.


All White. Christian Dior by Raf Simons. Spring/Summer’15


All white. Christian Dior by Raf Simons. Spring/Summer’15

This was evident in many Paris Fashion Week collections, where white minimalism is key, such as the Celine and Anya Hindmarch’s collections.


All white. Celine. Spring/Summer’15


All White. Ayna Hindmarch. Spring/Summer’15

Ella Elysia x