By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times
7:00 AM PST, November 29, 2012
Raf Simons, the new designer for the house of Christian Dior, is shaking the foundations of French fashion and bringing the tradition of haute couture into the 21st century. His first two Dior runway collections shown earlier this year were at times reverent and at times revolutionary, featuring such daring designs as crushed, cut-off ball gowns worn over pants, and ball skirts paired with casual crewneck sweaters. Simons has already won over the fashion pack, and now Dior is the red-carpet get of the award show season. You can almost count on two hands the lucky ladies who have already gotten a turn in Simons' creations, including Julianne Moore, who wore a bright yellow ball skirt and knit top from his first Dior couture collection to the Emmys. Here are a few examples of how Dior's new look is playing in Hollywood.
Emma Watson chose a black strapless crushed ball gown over matching trousers for the London premiere of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" in September. The notion of wearing a formal dress over pants is young and modern, but the look might have been more successful if the pants had been fitted and cropped, as they were shown on the runway.
The strapless, hourglass-shaped gown Jessica Biel wore to the L.A. premiere of "Total Recall" in August is a powdery pink spin on the nipped shoulder-and-padded hip silhouette of Christian Dior's iconic 1947 New Look. Biel wins points for juxtaposing the retro-feminine style with edgy accessories, namely a tangled crystal and pearl Tom Binns necklace and pointy silver cap-toe Louis Vuitton pumps.
The face of Lady Dior handbags, Marion Cotillard, was the first to step out in new Dior back in July and has worn several of the runway looks since, including for the London premiere of "Rust and Bone" in October. This sleeveless dress with high-low hem and deep V back is a fun update of the classic little black dress, accessorized with Dior shoes with thin crossover straps and a curved heel.
Jennifer Lawrence, recently named the face of Miss Dior handbags, took a turn at the Toronto International Film Festival in this Dior couture gown in September. The moody color palette strikes a goth glam note that is in sync with Lawrence's tough "Hunger Games" persona and a pleasant challenge to Dior's ladylike DNA.
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