Dior's floral extravanganza wows Paris fashion week

Guests wait in the Cour Carree of the Louvre Museum before the presentation of the Spring/Summer 2016 Ready to Wear collection by Belgian designer Raf Simons for Dior fashion house during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, on Oct 2, 2015.
Guests wait in the Cour Carree of the Louvre Museum before the presentation of the Spring/Summer 2016 Ready to Wear collection by Belgian designer Raf Simons for Dior fashion house during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, on Oct 2, 2015. PHOTO: EPA
Model Sofia Mechetner presents a creation by Belgian designer Raf Simons as part of his Spring/Summer 2016 women's ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior fashion house in Paris, France, Oct 2, 2015.
Model Sofia Mechetner presents a creation by Belgian designer Raf Simons as part of his Spring/Summer 2016 women's ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior fashion house in Paris, France, Oct 2, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Designer Raf Simons paid homage to Christian Dior's legendary love of flowers creating a mountain of 400,000 delphiniums in the heart of Paris, the centrepiece of a stunning setting to show the house's collection on Friday (Oct 2).

The giant lavender hill created in the courtyard of the Louvre drew A-list celebrities including brand ambassador Rihanna, resplendent in a diaphanous pink fur trimmed coat and aviator glasses, and Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke.

Simons took the house creator's classic lines further showing off cropped sweaters with scalloped edges and delicately undulating sleeves, satin parkas with stunning embroidery and peekaboo but prim ivory lingerie under organdy gowns.

"I wanted the collection to have a certain purity," Simons said in a statement.

"I wanted to express an idea of femininity, fragility and sensitivity without sacrificing strength and impact," he said.

"A collection that is simplified to the extreme, focussed on a single directing line which at the same time evokes feminity, fragility and sensibility." Pastel shades abounded and the models - led by house favourite Sodia Mechetner - had minimum make-up in line with Simons avowed objective of purity.

There was also a new version of the Bar, Dior's iconic and form hugging jacket with pleats at the back, and masculine tailoring in some trousers and shorts.

Actress Chiara Mastroianni, the daughter of screen legends Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve, gushed praise after the show.

"I found it very beautiful, very romantic. This romanticism and this softness is very unexpected today," she said.

At Issey Miyake's show in the nearby Tuileries Gardens, pleating - the maison's speciality - took on a new twist being made with baked fabrics that bounce and bob to create an optical feast.

The tropics-inspired collection was awash with a riot of colours with stripes and squares and raffia dresses.

At Isabel Marant, exoticism abounded with Berber blouses, harem trousers, tunics with billowing sleeves and silver lame pants and short skirts.