Dizzy with Dior

I was going to name this post “Death by Dior” but that is probably too melodramatic. However, late last night, as I was doing a final check on Facebook before heading to bed, a post from Style.com stopped me in my tracks. I started feeling anxious. I found myself saying out loud, “Raf Simons is killing me.” Dior had just shown its Resort (Cruise) 2015 collection in New York – Brooklyn, in fact – and here were 66 new looks to lust after. Which, for me, is the ultimate tension between the agony and the ecstasy.

I’ve selected only five of many from the show that I consider to-die-for and that kept me awake at my computer into the wee small hours of this morning. You’ll need to click on the image strip to see them more close-up as the page format here doesn’t allow for a very wide picture.

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Raf is killing me because he just keeps piling it on. Incredible, sumptuous, dazzling, flowing beauty. And because until recently I paid no attention to the calendar of fashion shows, the launching of new seasons six months ahead, or the thematic threads that weave from collection to collection – certainly not with as much studious intensity as I do with Dior since Raf came on board – I haven’t yet figured out how to handle the overwhelming feelings that come rushing at me as I see more and more pieces that I am sure I can’t live without. Even while I know I can, and have to, live without them. Because I am not a famous actress or pop singer or fashion magazine editor who gets invited to these shows in Paris and New York, is given Dior clothes to wear to them, and can equally afford to buy what I want from every collection. I make a good effort at pretending to the latter, but I am just a humble fashionista and fan, albeit with a deeper passion than many, and I am made both rapturous and fretful by the relentless releasing of more and more magnificence.

And this is just Ready-to-Wear. Thank goodness I have no aspirations to wear Haute Couture! Not that I wouldn’t love to, but until my life affords me the appropriate events and finances to wear custom-made luxury pieces, I have enough to do to accommodate my tastes for expensive garments and accessories off the racks and shelves of Dior boutiques, and various others.

Since February, the Spring/Summer 2014 collection has been in the boutiques. The collection had been shown in Paris last September, so it felt like a long wait, and once a new season’s collection does hit stores there are always pieces that come through that are variations of, and quite different to, what was modelled on the runway. As Sydney’s summer was lingering nicely and the beginning of our autumn remained sultry, it was ideal for picking through the racks to find pieces that would work immediately and still be fresh when spring arrived in the southern hemisphere in September.

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But no sooner had the Dior boutiques worldwide been decorated with floral arrangements replicating last September’s runway show, and the first of the Spring/Summer collection started arriving in stores, then the Fall/Winter 2014 collection was shown in Paris, to great acclaim, and I was absolutely smitten with several of the looks. Especially as Raf Simon’s cleverly carries colours and themes through from season to season, and the sky blue that had captivated me towards the end of the 2013 Cruise collection overlapping with the first of the Spring pieces – specifically in metallic pumps and fine knitwear – turned up in sporty laces adorning sexy figure-hugging dresses and beyond-the-elbow suede gloves.

I watched a number of the Fall/Winter shows from other designers online in late February. (Valentino’s was dazzling, and I will write of that elsewhere.) Dior’s was the standout, and before I even had all the Spring/Summer pieces I planned on collecting in hand, I was already fixated on all the new looks I’d seen that wouldn’t be available until July, imagining trying them on in Sydney, or perhaps Hawaii, or Beverly Hills.

These are my favourite looks of many that grabbed me, including some dresses and coats with the most vibrant pinks and greens imaginable, that I cannot wait to see with my own eyes. My picks here are more sedate; that khaki dress with the blue laces is heart-stoppingly divine. Again, click on the image for a better view.

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Oh, but just as I was absorbing what was ahead, along comes a hint of pre-Fall, and I realised I’d neglected to check out that runway collection from January. Yes, January, because even in the middle of an arctic northern hemisphere winter, the looks for the next early autumn were already being launched to the media and retail world. It’s that dizzying non-stop pace of fashion that I had previously been immune to. I’d been happy just to see the new arrivals in stores at the onset of each season. I hadn’t been studying them and desiring them six months earlier! It was when the Lady Dior caught my attention just last month and I saw the heavenly dark pink pleated skirt that Marion Cotillard was wearing in the ad campaign, that I realised there was a whole pre-Fall collection coming sooner. Later this month, in fact. Yes, I reminded myself, it was late May of last year, in London, that the first of pre-Fall 2013 came through and I had my heart stolen by the cyclamen pink dress I ended up buying from Dior in Beverly Hills. That’s all detailed on my Debbie Dior page, in case you’ve missed it so far.

So this morning, after dreaming most of the night about the Resort 15 collection, I took a look back on Style.com for the pre-Fall runway show I’d missed. It’s a smaller collection but every bit as enticing as the season that comes straight after it. And perfect timing as the Australian winter starts to arrive.

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The runway collection did not even include the pink skirts and sweaters that Marion Cotillard wears in the Lady Dior campaign, but nor did my pink dress from last pre-Fall feature on that runway show in 2013. I love the pieces that surprise me when they start arriving in-store, or pop up on the Dior website and expand my sense of what is on its way. Such as these shoes. Which would work with just about everything I have or want to have!

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Sydney will be starting to preview the pre-Fall collection towards the end of this month and I really can’t wait. But… I am already wondering which of the Resort pieces I will be able to have, if any, and when I might get to see them close up. Last year I was in Los Angeles for their Resort trunk show in July, but the collection was not available until November. By which time Spring/Summer 2015 will have already shown and become embedded in my psyche. And so it goes.

So I’m left with the quandary of how to still my mind and my heart in the face of such overwhelming sensory overload, a mixture of joy and panic that I suppose only a true fashionista learns how to live with. This is not world-changing stuff. It’s not, as they always say, a cure for cancer, or an end to war, or even a profound philosophical mantra such as what so many post on Facebook every day. It’s just fashion, but it moves me. I posted the images from Dior’s Resort 2015 show on my Facebook page before I finally shut down the computer last night. It matters to me, it’s part of who I am, so I shared it. I won’t die from Dior, in spite of my histrionic response to the latest collection showing. Without a wealthy benefactor, seven-figure salary or invitation to the next Met Gala, I have to find a way to work my desires and my lifestyle together in a sensible and practical way. (Yeah, right.) But that rush of emotion deserves to be honoured. It’s why I’m here writing this blog. It’s about finding meaning in life, when the world can often seem pretty meaningless. So thank you, Raf Simons. You won’t kill me. You’ll just continue to thrill me.

Taking off

Last Wednesday I took off from LAX after fifteen months of amazing travels and on Friday morning I landed at SYD where I am now taking stock and planning for a productive year ahead. I’ve just added an About Me page that gives a brief summary of why I’m here. As my jetlag wears off and I reacclimatise to being in this part of the world, I’ll trawl through the memories and images of my recent travels, as well as adventures long past and of course what’s going on day by day. All with a stylish focus, of course. Here I go!