With a contemporary point of view, the Christian Dior Spring 2016 Haute Couture collection revisited some of Monsieur Dior’s creations.

Necklines worked into shapes that bare the shoulders through a sharp scoop or a drape, that structure the bust with a strong geometry, mold the chest with soft curves, or burst into a fluttering ruffle. A wealth of clever cutting and experimentation gave the Christian Dior Spring 2016 Haute Couture collection a very free and modern allure.

Like an homage to Christian Dior’s taste for innovation and the search for new shapes, these looks were inspired by the couturier’s creations, transposing them into an offering that was still couture but strongly contemporary. Here, a green coat was asymmetrically worn to reveal the embroidery of a dress, evoking the draped collar of the dress Abandon from 1948. There, a flounced black dress that revisited the structure of Bengale, from the same year. Then there was a bolero embroidered with black sequins, worn over a bright red knit top, that recalls the arcing neckline of the dress Amour of 1957.

Sprigs of lily-of-the-valley balance their little dangling bells on a jacket, and sparkling beads sketch out a leopard’s signature spots. The Haute Couture collection looked to expert embroiderers for the precision and mastery of craft necessary to bring it to reality. In their atelier they perpetuate an art of detail that Christian Dior greatly appreciated when it came to his own Haute Couture creations: “All too often we forget that embroidery is still done by hand, just as it was in the 18th century,” explained the couturier in his memoirs. “We can succeed in completely covering a dress with millions of sequins or beads placed one by one by fingers that, especially in our mechanical age, seem as though they come from fairy hands.”

This season, floral and animal motifs are embroidered on light tulle or chiffon, two vaporous fabrics that require a very specific level of exacting work and handling.

Go behind the scenes as Camille Rowe, Liu Yifei, Aymeline Valade, Olga Kurylenko, Olivia Palermo and a host of other boldface names descended the steps leading to the gardens of the Musée Rodin, in a wintry sunlit Paris, to attend the Christian Dior runway show.