2 August 2015

The 'White' Trend and Dior: An Analysis

“White is so pure and matches everything” –Christian Dior

Figure 4: The White Trend seen through Various Designers: (from left to right): Dior, Anya Hindmarch, Hermes, Moncler, Louis Vuitton, Paul & Joe, Valentino, Velentin Yudashkin, Chanel, Veronique Branquinho, Elie saab, Rahoul Mishra, Chloe, Kenzo, John Galliano, Undercover, Vionnet.)

Figure 5: Dior Spring/Summer 2015 Dior.
 “It’s enough of a statement to be tall- I don’t need clothes to be loud” –Victoia Sekrier (Stylist and Model)

Figure 6: Christian Dior working on a collection with Marguerite Carrie, Spring collection 1947

Figure 7: Marylin Monroe wearing a white fox fur stole; white silk dress, white gloves, with her blonde hair, and pearl earrings. White silk is the perfect texture and light reflecting colour for Black and White Cinema.
Figure 8: Diana Dors reclining on various white fox fur stoles, wearing a silver light reflecting body suit, with her blonde hair, white diamond earrings, again, white being a perfect colour for the black and white screen.

From New York to Milan, from Paris to London; a sea of white took over the runways. White trenches, white pumps, cream dresses, were some of the main attractions at various designers shows. However Dior’s SS15 collection epitomised this collective trend.  Why is it here? Minimalism. I believe that the reason white is so popular now, is not necessarily because it’s an irresistible choice of colour, but because of what white represents.

The 21st century is the busiest century yet. We are running a speed that we’ve never run before. With such a chaotic world around us, minimalism, in all its forms, is a safe haven for the modern mind. White and minimalism go hand in hand; white is technically not even a colour. No wave lengths for our retina to pick up, it is the most effortless virginal pure ‘colour’. Minimalism and white nowadays brings our minds to a halt, and fills it instead with simplicity, peace and serenity.

When white was first seen as a trend? Believe it or not: the 1930’s depression. The Blonde, Bosomed, Bombshells of Hollywood, swathed so sensually in white silk, were the vision of the light at the end of the tunnel during the depression. With the introduction film, actresses had the huge task of holding capturing an audience’s attention with no colour or words.
The 1940’s starlets Marilyn Monroe and Dina Dors (see figures 7, 8) were the masters of this trade. Their blonde hair, white fur, silver bodysuits, red lips, bias cut body-clinging white silk, diamonds and pearls were all magnificent on black an white screen. These stars portrayed a lifestyle that made the 30’s not look so bad, and the way for women to taste this life was to wear Hollywood White.

Dior now must have been inspired by Dior then: Dior’s designs were seen in Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘Stage Fright’ in 1950’s, peaking demand for Dior Couture at the time. Perhaps Raf Simons for his SS15 collection looked back onto the power of white in the 20th century and decided to resurrect it in the 21st. (See Figure 6)

However, now we have colour and sound and are no longer in the depression, why is it back? It’s resurgence is down to three factors. Firstly and predominantly, minimalism is a strong theme throughout all of the SS15 shows because in 2015, we are going to be busier, faster, and more chaotic; if we want peace and clarity now, we are only going to want it six times more in six months time.
Secondly, in spring and summer, white has always been a trend. White, eyelets, florals, embroidery, all seem to be details that rhyme with the notion of a New Year, a fresh start, a blank canvas, a new growth, optimism.

Finally, white is a trend because it is powerful. Women are at a tipping point vis a vis equal rights between man and women. Raf Simons stated that this collection was redefining the modern woman. Is the modern woman not equal to man? Maybe all us women need is a trend to unite us all with that same power and message to inspire one last push into modernity…