Experimental feature

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Experimental feature

Lingerie has been so much a feature of the season that I can barely bring myself to write the word again. And yet, here it was at Dior, where lingerie shorts and fitted tops were paired with filmy organza dresses and tougher tailoring.

“Purity and precision” were the key notes, according to Dior creative director Raf Simons, who wanted to “concentrate on a line that expressed an idea of femininity, fragility and sensitivity without sacrificing strength”.

I have questions though. Why do garments so associated with nakedness and undress seem pure? Why does lingerie inspire such passions? Who the hell wears it?

Personally, I blame Peter Weir, who cast the template for lacy-veiled naivety in his Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), a picture of lost innocence at which fashion still claws for inspiration.

No frills at Dior SS16, though. These undergarments, with their clean scalloped edges and gentle grosgrain ties, were Victorian in style and starched bright white. Suddenly, lingerie made sense.

The show opened with the classic bar jacket, paired with cotton veil lingerie tops and shorts, and most looks thereafter played with material tensions: pinstriped suiting and organza tulle; silks and jacquard wool sweaters, round-shouldered, ragged and cropped under the breast; a featherweight technical parka paired with — well — a pair of pants. The looks were tied up with scarf-like chokers hung with numerical charms: 1947, the date of Dior’s apotheosis, and the number 8 (the Spring collection of that year, “Carolle”, came to be known as “Figure 8”).

Dior SS16, with its banks of blue mountain flowers and pan-pipe music, was a beautiful contribution to the conversation. Never underdressed and very pure.

For more reports from the shows, go to our fashion weeks page on FT.com

Photographs: Catwalking

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