Raf Simons, new artistic director of Christian Dior

Over the past year, speculation was rife about the successor of John Galliano, ousted for racial abuse, as Artistic Director of Christian Dior.Now it's official, at 44 years old, the discreet Belgian Raf Simons takes over the reins of the house on Avenue Montaigne.

From his debut as a furniture designer in collaboration with Jil Sander, through to the creation of his eponymous menswear brand in 1995, as well as his teaching career in fashion at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Raf Simons has mastered the cuts and the use of unusual materials within a true reflection on modernity, as demonstrated by the recent exhibition dedicated to him by The Fashion Festival in Hyères.

Last March, after seven years as Artistic Director of Jil Sander, Raf Simons delivered his last collection with a new look spirit. An omen of his future collaboration with Dior? Or rather a triumphant demonstration of his highly acclaimed simple, feminine and refined style. Let's hope he has the same audacity with the Dior house. See you in July for his first haute couture collection.

Hamish Bowles: "I think the last two or three seasons Raf has really been thinking about mid-century haute couture and taking those references and purifying them in a modern way, and I think just purifying it for a modern woman and using intriguing contemporary fabrics".

Music: from the fashion show
Copyright: Paris Modes Productions

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