Interviews with Raf Simons are few and far between, but the new creative director of Dior says it's not because he's press-shy. "I don't know where you got the idea that I'm aloof," he says in the December issue of Vogue Australia.
Far from aloof, Simons is almost effusive, touching on everything from John Galliano (he says he doesn't find his designs "relevant") to his vision for Dior's future. He also talks about making the transition from Jil Sander to one of the most coveted jobs in fashion and how he wants to change couture. Highlights from the interview below.
On John Galliano: "I have so much respect for John's technical skill and the fantasy, it's just something that I don't find relevant now, especially when it restricts a woman, because in every other area they have so much freedom now."
On getting the Dior job and his sudden departure from Jil Sander: "I'm not going to lie to you. We [Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH, and Sidney Toledano, president of Dior] had been talking for months about the job, but talks happen all the time in this business. That doesn't mean something is necessarily going to come out of it. . . I felt more like a psychiatrist than a designer in the end [at Jil Sander], just to keep my team's spirits up."
On his final show at Jil Sander: "That final collection was not in any way an audition for the Dior job. It was just something I wanted to do."
On Dior's impact on fashion: "The more I analyzed the pieces, the more I realized how many people have built their careers on Christian Dior's patterns, from Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garcons onwards. What he achieved in 10 years at his house is unprecedented."
On what he's trying to accomplish: "I want to get away from couture just being done for a picture, or for a single moment on the red carpet. I want to try and convince women that couture can be worn in the day and that there's a reality and a relevance there, because that's what Mr. Christian Dior wanted. In my opinion, Christian Dior was never, ever theater."
Photo courtesy of Dior, via Vogue Australia.