ARTICLE MIA SOLKIN
PHOTOGRAPHY SOPHIE CARRE
Dior’s Fall/Winter show reminded us of how closely art and fashion can be intertwined. Creative director Raf Simons honored Dior’s love of art and simultaneously paid homage to Andy Warhol, whose works he has always admired, by embroidering the icon’s early paintings into his designs. “I started to think about things myself and Mr. Dior had in common, particularly an interest in art,” says Simons. “Before forming his fashion house, Christian Dior had a gallery, where he was representing Giacometti and Dalí early on in their careers, when they were young. It seems he exhibited what is perhaps Dalí’s most famous painting, The Persistence Of Memory.”
Coincidental or not, Simons’s connection to these past greats is perhaps most clearly expressed in five designs he nicknamed the “Memory Dresses.” Much like a child’s prized treasures stored in a keepsake box, these looks could be described as walking scrapbooks, with precious Warhol-inspired illustrations and patches strewn throughout. Simons utilized these motifs in a mid-century manner that would have appealed to his predecessor. “It’s not always about what you make when you are a designer, it’s about what you keep near,” he says. “A postcard, a leaf, something connected to your personal taste or desire or about what you fundamentally are or what you are about to say.”
These previously unpublished images (left) offer a sneak peak into Simons’s intimate design process, revealing the skilled craftsmanship that goes into each piece. Layers upon layers of chiffon, printed on, sewn, and/or embellished with his Warholian motifs provide an up-close and personal look into private preshow moments and demonstrate how the etchings, patchworks, and embroideries came together in the mind of the designer. The Memory Dresses are, in a word, unforgettable.