ARRIVING in the slipstream of a global superstar such as <a href=”http://www.vogue.co.uk/person/rihanna”>Rihanna, there was a possibility you would be crushed as casually as the slender delphiniums that forested <a href=”http://www.vogue.co.uk/brand/christian-dior”>Christian Dior’s majestic domed show space within the Louvre, such was the surge of fans desperate for a glimpse of their beloved RiRi. All credit to her star-like composure, swathed in a Dior cashmere fur-decorated cape and thigh-high latex booties, she was certainly not breaking sweat like the rest of us in the surprise burst of autumn heat – even the flowers were gently drooping. Inside, however, it was an oasis of cool composure in <a href=”http://www.vogue.co.uk/person/raf-simons”>Raf Simons’s spring garden – a perfectly sheened gloss-white floor ran up to a vast wall of exquisite cornflower blue delphiniums, standing perkily to attention (each of the 400,000 stems were planted individually, there is no skimping at LVMH when it comes to promoting their star Belgian designer, who appears very much at home now in this venerated French house). Giant indigo cranes, hung like futuristic, urban flowers over the catwalk. A reminder that Simons is a designer who likes to bring edge and precision to pretty. “I wanted the collection to have a purity to it,” he told us. And so it did. Exquisitely so. Divine scalloped cotton organdie cami knickers and matching chemise tops, fastened at the side with delicate bars of cute buttons, were the base, the undergarments, on which he layered his ideas, re-working each one with scientific discipline. No look or garment ever became too frothy or brashly extrovert (even the extravagant military jacket embroidered with flowers of sequins and bunched chiffon that will surely appeal to Rihanna was masterfully restrained, well, ish. You need to show off your couture skills occasionally!)
Knitwear came in a series of cropped ribbed Aran and fisherman “rough” knits over sheer bias cut dresses and pretty silk minis. Undulating silk pleats gave feminine gaity to short a-line skirts and to the classic Bar jacket in black wool, where they dropped and flared prettily from the waist.