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In Paris, latex continues to slide into mainstream fashion

Models take a rest backstage after the Christian Dior's Spring-Summer 2015 Haute Couture fashion collection presented in Paris, France, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
AP Photo/Francois Mori
Just another Monday for models on break outside Dior’s couture show in Paris.
By Jenni Avins
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Yesterday, Dior designer Raf Simons sent his haute couture collection for spring 2015 down the runway in Paris. The Belgian designer has won the affection of customers and approval of critics, deftly combining classic couture materials and silhouettes with a fresh, modern sensibility and eye-opening color palettes.

AP Photo/Francois Mori
Dior spring 2015 couture.

At yesterday’s show, that translated to stiff, tea-length pleated skirts striped with ribbons of red, yellow, and silver; bead-encrusted shifts and floral lace gowns; and the odd Ziggy Stardust-inspired jumpsuit.

AP Photo/Francois Mori
Dior couture, spring 2015.

Uniting these looks were the shoes: Nearly all the models wore glossy boots of what appeared to be latex. (British Vogue saw latex; saw vinyl. It could have been either, but no one missed those boots.)

AP Photo/Francois Mori
Shine on.

With clear block heels, some of the boots coated models’ thin thighs like a second, pop-colored skin; while others just hugged them to their shins.

As Quartz has reported, latex has been slowly marching from a sideline fetish into mainstream fashion. It appeared recently on runways such as Marc by Marc Jacobs’, in looser, duller-surfaced garments. But what we saw at Dior was of the skintight, high-shine quality that so many fans of the material fetishize. That’s how French fashion editor Carine Roitfeld styled the stuff for Pirelli’s 2015 calendar, and even Kim Kardashian has been pushing the material into the public eye.

The great challenge for designers such as Simons—especially with a couture collection—is to take a house as storied as Dior, with all its heavy, historical trappings, and bring it into the 21st century. The boots gave this collection a leg up.

It will be fun to see if Dior’s couture clients pull them on.

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