The runway was raised at the Lanvin show last week. The cynical side of me wants to believe that Alber Elbaz was make a statement that he's still up there with the best of them in light of the changes at Dior and Saint Laurent. The other side of me, less driven by a good piece of fashion drama, recognises that that was probably not the case. Elbaz has been publicly supportive of the changes at both labels but nonetheless, if the runway construction was coincidental, the message came through in the clothes.
After celebrating his 10th anniversary at the brand last season, Elbaz moved away from nostalgia and instead pushed on forward. This season he seemed inspired by the East, which was apparent particularly on the structured Chinese military-style coats and obi belts on coats. The reference was there but subtle, something that could have been difficult if done by lesser hands. The tailoring was loose, which is something different for Lanvin, but the house's codes were still there. The jewellery continued to come in strong statement metal hardware and a handful of dresses came heavily embellished and one shouldered.
Raf Simons' debut couture collection has already had more than a handful of red carpet moments but the sheer importance of the debut makes me feel the need to continue to do a bit of Dior couture spotting and the latest star to be given the chance to sport a piece is Jennifer Lawrence.
Over the weekend the 22 year-old actress opted for this printed strapless number teamed with black Dior shoes and a Tiffany & Co, Rubedo rose gold cuff and ring. As a big Dior fan I really wanted to like this look but something doesn't quite work. Lawrence doesn't carry it off quite like Rachel Weisz and Jessica Biel did with their gowns and her new dark hair looks a bit too harsh.
The fact that John Galliano had his Legion of Honour stripped from him last week was the just the latest addition in what has been a trying past two years from him and based on new reports, it looks like the drama isn't quite over.
According to the Telegraph, Galliano is set to be in court again but instead of having a case heard against him, he's the one taking legal action and against former employer Christian Dior S.A. It is 'believed that Galliano has lodged an employee/employer dispute claim for over €15 million [$18.85 million] at the Conseil des Prud’hommes,' the newspaper reports.
To say that the last two years have been hard for John Galliano would be a big understatement. After that video was released showing him making anti-Semitic remarks in Paris, he was dismissed from his position at both Christian Dior and his namesake label before being convicted shortly after, and just when we thought the worse was over, things got even worse this week.
New French president François Hollande confirmed that he is revoking the designer's Legion of Honor that he was awarded in 2010, and it's a big deal. It's rare for France to strip people of their honors. The only time it has ever been taken was from Vichy official Maurice Papon after he was found guilty 'of complicity in Nazi crimes against humanity' in 1991, so make of that what you will.
Do you think he deserved to be stripped of his Legion of Honor?
In the Mario Sorrenti-shot ad, the actress appears stripped down on a sofa sporting nothing but a pink throw to cover her modesty but as you would expect from Portman, the nudity isn't completely frivolous. The campaign is for the brand's new Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing makeup collection, hence why the nudity makes sense.
The line features eight new shades, including a new special tone, Grège #169, the proceeds of which will go directly to Portman's charity of choice, the Free the Children Association. 'I chose the color Grège because it’s the one I’d pick to wear myself,' she said in a statement. 'The number  contains different dates that are important to me and my family,' and Grège was also the color used to represent Christian Dior’s 'New Look' back in 1947.
Marion Cotillard was lucky enough to be the first celebrity to sport Raf Simons' Dior couture debut on the red carpet and last night, Rachel Weisz became the second.
The actress stepped out at the premiere of her film, 'The Bourne Legacy, in New York wearing a black strapless calf-length dress with a high side slit from the collection and everything about it works. While Weisz may not always set you alight with her magazine covers, her classic approach to red carpet styling generally goes down really well and the simplicity of the dress is the perfect match for her. She finished the look off with Charlotte Olympia's 'Pandora Domino' clutch and Christian Louboutin's 'Bow Bow' sandals.
It's going to be interesting to see which other celebrities get the chance to wear it on the red carpet. Something tells me there won't be many.
As the picture above shows, when Raf Simons came out to take his bow at the Dior couture show it was a far cry from his final bow at Jil Sander. This time the tears were replaced with a beaming smile and he has every reason to.
Talking to Style.com after the show, he explained that he's tried to change the way people look at couture so that the pieces have longevity rather than being limited to the being seen through the lens of one red carpet moment:
[I am trying] to change the psychology of people who are interested in couture. The way I’ve been looking at it so far is as a still image, something you look at for that moment. I think lots of people see it as a still, an image from the red carpet. I want to make it more dynamic, appeal to a person who has a different energy. A younger person, in mind, not necessarily in age. And I think couture is very much about curating something unique for women. Fashion is so mass-produced now; I hope there will come a refocus on how people see couture. And I would also hope for a new focus on the craft.
His approach has paid off. Everyone from Cathy Horyn to Alber Elbaz have produced complimentary reviews of his debut and if the praise for couture is anything to go by, we have a lot to expect for his debut ready-to-wear collection in October.
With the couture shows just around the corner, speculation about what we can expect to see from Raf Simons in his debut collection at Christian Dior is growing. As far as the collection is concerned, everything is still hush hush but according to WWD, Simons is currently looking for a new location.
Usually the brand shows their couture collections in the garden of the Rodin Museum or in their salon on Avenue Montaigne but the designers is reportedly looking at using a hotel on the Avenue d’Iéna. The move sounds like a conscious decision on Simons' part to mark his own stamp on the label. Luckily for us, though, him doing so doesn't result in a name change like Hedi Slimane has done at Yves Saint Laurent.
Are you excited to see the show?
UPDATE: Today Stephen Jones spoke to WWD about what we can expect from Simons' debut couture show for the house, describing the collection as 'beautiful and new'. And we can take his word for it, as he's responsible for designing the hats for the July 2 show.
With his debut menswear and couture collection for Dior just around the corner, to say that the pressure is on Raf Simons would be quite the understatement. That's not stopping him, though. In fact, the Dior creative director has just announced that he is working with Fred Perry too.
The designer, whose eponymous brand partnered with the British label from A/W08 to S/S11, has been asked to come on board again to reignite the Fred Perry menswear line. According to Telegraph Fashion, the 28-piece collection will be unveiled during Paris Men's Fashion Week next month. 'We have great appreciation for the heritage of the brand as well as their dynamism in guiding the brand towards the future,' a spokesperson from his label said.
Christian Dior hasn't been worn much on the red carpet but as the face of their J'Adore fragrance, Charlize Theron has been a loyal supporter of the brand and today was no different. The actress sported this sheer black gown from the brand's S/S12 Couture collection at the London premiere of her new film, 'Snow White and the Huntsman.'