The Christian Dior Fall 2015 Haute Couture collection looks to the Old Masters of Flemish painting and to the artisanal masters of haute couture to provide a synthesis of historical form, technique and artistic gesture to arrive at the point of today.

“I was intrigued by the idea of forbidden fruit, and what that meant now,” says Creative Director Raf Simons. “The idea of purity and innocence versus luxury and decadence and how that is encapsulated by the idea of Dior’s garden – no longer a flower garden but a sexual one. The original inspiration came from the Flemish Masters and their approach to painting.”

A stratification and amalgamation of history, both in art and in fashion, exists throughout the collection, highlighting how the architecture and inspiration of one era is based on another; from the late Gothic period, via the Renaissance and the Baroque to the more recent masters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, each is featured in this broad sweep of history. Here, the Flemish and the French influences come together in the dramatic, almost ‘impasto’ gestures of drapery and the concentration on historical sleeves, to the Impressionist and Pointillist application of pattern.

“I wanted that feeling of the sensuous and luxurious to be implicit within the collection,” explains Raf Simons. “At the same time the innocent, gestural and personal should also be there – I have repeatedly been inspired by the gestural quality of Mr Dior’s work. The historical impact is pulled back into reality and this, for me, is what makes something modern.”