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I recently watched the wonderful fashion documentary, Dior & I (which I highly recommend). It inspired me to take a closer look at Raf Simon’s latest Haute Couture collection for the French super brand. Under the creative direction of the Belgian designer, I’ve become a Dior fan. He makes divine dresses for rich women that are interesting conceptually with a clear point of view. Simons’ couture collections are especially compelling as the clothes are created using old world techniques, but with a thoroughly modern perspective.

The venue for Christian Dior’s latest Haute Couture catwalk show was a greenhouse in the garden of the Musée Rodin. The faux-glass structure was constructed of 356 geometric panes – each one hand-painted with colorful, pointillist blooms. This beautiful setting as well as the collection were inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych of the Garden of Earthly Delights.

This famous piece of art resonates with me as it was one of my father’s favorites. We had a print that hung in the living room at my family home for most of my childhood. As a little girl, I was both enchanted and disturbed by it. It’s especially intriguing to me in the context of Raf Simons’ collection as it is a non-Dior reference. Simons’ who has loved Bosch’s masterpiece for years interpreted the painting to mean that life is full of contrasts, “very hard and very soft, very dark and very light, very angelic to very sexual.” Simons’ used stunning design juxtapositions throughout, whether it was oversized chain jewelry draped over a floor-length white silk chiffon gown, a naked side-view dress, elongated sleeves on an impeccably tailored red coat or frocks rendered in a painterly palette with tiny pointillist details including feathers.

The overall look was not fussy feminine, but more ethereal and pristine. The Dior couture customer will surely covet these “earthly delights” that will stay in her style rotation forever.

Image credit: vogue.com