Major fashion houses in transition during the transitional season — it’s a micro trend in Paris right now. Pre-fall was the first Dior collection presented after the departure of Raf Simons. It was designed by the studio and presented during Dior’s internal buyers sessions by collection director Michela Kalb, who said the intention was to make the lineup more relaxed and less stiff, and more true to the way a real woman would put her outfits together. Indeed, there was a sense of warmth in the colors and the volumes and some of the tension of Simons’ tenure seemed to have been released. An easier, perhaps even younger mood was evident.
Aside from a few elongated pantsuits, separates were the collection’s focus, with wardrobe essentials layered to emphasize an approachable, eclectic charm. Trenches — either soft and boxy with a dropped waist or more constructed in a dense cotton crepe for a sculpted volume — were shown over delicate lace skirts with sequined organza panels that closed in the front like bejeweled apron ties. Pants came in three distinct styles: ultra fitted in a stretch fabric; high-waisted and baggy; and high-waisted and cropped. Roomy, mannish coats, such as a camel, double-face cashmere style with big mother of pearl buttons, underscored the idea of breathing room. A black leather mini slipdress with lingerie lace trim worn over a chunky sweater and a pale blue floral eyelet skirt epitomized the collection’s new quirky, girlish attitude, as did the shoes: Pointy-toed kitten heels and flats with rhinestone ankle straps.