Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Iraq: Kurdish forces fight to protect Yazidis

Read more

DEBATE

Libya unrest: National Assembly asks for UN help to dissolve militias

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#IceBucketChallenge and hashtag activism

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The world’s dictators love the unrest in Ferguson'

Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • Ex-PM Juppé announces bid for 2017 French presidential race

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Deadly airstrikes hit Gaza as ceasefire with Israel collapses

    Read more

  • Tentative peace in Ferguson despite second fatal shooting

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Iraqi army clashes with militants in Tikrit after retaking key dam

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

  • ‘Let it be’: Londoners sick of Abbey Road tourists

    Read more

Culture

Dior duels with YSL at Paris Fashion Week

© AFP - Hedi Slimane during his first Dior show in 2001.

Text by Priscille LAFITTE

Latest update : 2012-09-28

The launch of Paris Fashion Week saw the battle lines drawn between iconic houses Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior as the fashion world braced for the long-awaited collections of new creative directors Hedi Slimane and Raf Simons.

It might be raining and grey in Paris, but the launch of Fashion Week on Tuesday promised a whirlwind of excitement in the French capital as two of its biggest rival fashion houses are set to go head-to-head with their respective new creative directors.

The last time the world’s designers, models and fashionistas filed into Paris expecting to feast on the delights of Dior, the party turned sour before it even started following the emergence of video footage showing Dior’s then chief designer, John Galliano, praising Adolf Hitler.

This time, Dior is back under a more favourable spotlight with new director Raf Simons, and facing off against long-time rival Saint Laurent Paris (YSL), which enters the fray with its own new direction in the form of Hedi Slimane.

Slimane, who was born to an Italian mother and Tunisian father and brought up in a poor district of north-east Paris, started out at YSL nearly two decades ago. In March, he took on the pivotal post of creative director at Saint Laurent Paris – formerly known as Yves Saint Laurent - following the resignation of Stefano Pilati.

RAF SIMONS IN THE DIOR HOUSE

Slimane is best known for his 2002 line of Dior-commissioned men’s suits. Fashionistas still dazzled by this collection, speak of a “before and after” in the world of men’s prêt-a-porter. Pascal Mourier, FRANCE 24’s fashion correspondent, describes the line as “refined, black, almost stark ... the suits were so narrow that women swooned over them.”

Accompanied by the re-emergence of London’s punk-rock scene, the suits proved a revolution in menswear.

Out with pretentiousness, in with reason

FIRST BLACK FASHION WEEK

Paris holds its first ever Black Fashion Week next Thursday. The three-day event (October 4 – 6) has been organised by French-Senegalese designer Adama Ndiaye, and will take place at the Pavillon Cambon Capucine in central Paris.

Meanwhile at Dior, Belgian Raf Simons – who spent the past seven years at Jil Sanders and is known for his youthful flair – is also expected to reveal a minimalist line and steer clear of frivolities. “It’s the new lux: reason over pretentiousness,” Pascal Mourier says. But the pair are also being counted on for an exciting change of tack. “We haven’t had a show-stopping Fashion Week since the arrivals of Galliano at Dior and Alexander McQueen at Givenchy in the mid-nineties,” head of the Couture Federation Didier Grumbauch said.

Aside from the battle of the titans at the very top of the French fashion world, the first day of Paris Fashion Week was devoted to a new generation of designers, with 30-somethings Anthony Vaccarello and Steffie Christiaens stealing the show. "These are the people to follow,” Mourier said. “My colleagues usually think that day one isn’t worth bothering about, but these collections cannot be ignored. These young designers work like dogs to get their ideas out. They think of themselves more as artists than as artisans.”

This year, France’s Prêt-a-Porter Federation has employed an apartment space available to young independents to showcase their work. “Designers struggle hugely in their efforts to break into a system where money only starts to come through six or ten months after showcasing a collection,” Mourioer explained.

Until October 3, they have their chance.

Date created : 2012-09-26

  • FASHION

    After Galliano storm, restrained Raf Simons picked as Dior’s chief designer

    Read more

  • JUSTICE

    Paris court fines Galliano €6,000 for anti-Semitic rant

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    YSL top designer Pilati quitting

    Read more

COMMENT(S)