Print Comment

Can Dior's new man Raf Simons live up to Galliano?

He is days away from making his hotly-anticipated debut as Dior’s top designer.

And the fashion world is on tenterhooks waiting to see whether Raf Simons will live up to John Galliano’s incredible legacy with his first show at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week on Monday.

Will his arrival at the French fashion house involve a major aesthetic shake-up?

After all, Galliano’s signature was layering, theatrical presentations and referencing golden eras of yesteryear.

By contrast, Raf, a Belgian designer known for his minimalist approach, focused in his collections for Jil Sander on pared-down chic. 

Dior is hoping he will help propel the iconic brand into the 21st century, but as we wait to see, here’s a look back at the best images from the last 20 collections.

Spring/Summer 2012: When John Galliano was dismissed over a drunken outburst in Paris caretaker designer Bill Gaytten produced an X-ray-inspired collection harking back to the brand's golden era 

Autumn/Winter 2011: John Galliano's last couture collection for Dior after a fifteen-year tenure stayed true to his dramatic, theatrical style 

Spring/Summer 2011: The creative genius drew on artistic inspiration, basing his collection on the work of the renowned 20th-century illustrator René Gruau, who collabored with founder Christian Dior for much of his career 

Autumn/Winter 2010: Flower power reinterpreted by the British designer to showcase models literally dressed as colourful blooms complete with cellophane head adornments 

Spring/Summer 2010: An equestrian-themed presentation wowed the fashion industry 

Autumn/Winter 2009: Dior returned to the Fifties with this sexy collection that focused on stripping away the outer layers to reveal how the ultimate silhouette was created 

Spring/Summer 2009: Galliano looked to Flemish painters such as Van Dyck and Rembrandt 

Autumn/Winter 2008: A very feminine, romantic collection inspired Lisa Fonssagrives, a Dior model in the fifties and the wife of photographer Irving Penn 

Spring/Summer 2008: Architectural forms and rich embroidery saturated this collection 

Autumn/Winter 2007: Marking the 60th anniversary of the iconic brand with a little help from its supermodel friends Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista 

Spring/Summer 2007: To celebrate his tenth year at the helm, the eccentric genius went east to Japan


Autumn/Winter 2006: With a stone path and hedges forming the runway, this show evoked an Italian Renaissance age garden.

This was a new style of garden which emerged in the late 15th century at villas in Rome and Florence, inspired by classical ideals of order and beauty 

Spring/Summer 2006: The French Revolution of 1789 came to the Paris catwalk with a blood red collection 

Autumn/Winter 2005: Galliano began to further explore his theatrical tendencies 

Spring/Summer 2005: "Andy Warhol is Napoleon in rags," said Galliano quoting Bob Dylan as way of explaining the inspiration behind the collection 

Autumn/Winter 2004: Princess of Austria-Hungary from the late 19th-century took to the Parisian runway with an array of rich embroidery, corseted bodies and oversized crowns 

Spring/Summer 2004: There was no shortage of mummies, gods, pharaohs and empresses as he took the fashion world on a trip to ancient Egypt 

Autumn/Winter 2003: Drawing inspiration from Spain and gypsy culture 

Spring/Summer 2003: China and Japan came together in a collection with a delicate colour palette 

Autumn/Winter 2002: An array of sky-high platforms made headlines 


Add comment

Please type the characters that appear on the image in order to send your comment:

  • Please note, all comments are those of readers and do not represent the opinion of
  • reserves the right to remove comments it considers offensive or not relevant
  • Please focus on the topic