Couture is the “dream” and ready-to-wear “reality.” In recent history, many fashion houses have scaled back or stopped their couture collections. But some, like Chanel have consistently delivered and filled a large need for beauty and craftsmanship. It’s no surprise that the most anticipated show of the year, for me at least, is Karl Lagerfeld’s collection for Chanel Haute Couture. In the past, couture shows such as now absent John Galliano’s collections for Christian Dior could be relied upon as well. This year’s couture schedule has been buzzing with the anticipated debut of Raf Simons’ first collection for Christian Dior.

Expectations for Simons ran high. How will he put his fingerprint on the brand while remaining true to the DNA of Dior? Simons’ collection could also set the tone for what fashionista’s hope will be the next larger than life rivalry (even if only imagined) between Simons at Dior and the newly appointed Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent Paris. Where two rivals, Lagerfeld and the late Yves Saint Laurent, revolutionized fashion, many hope to see a similar competition breed something ground breaking in the upcoming season where Slimane and Simons will both debut ready-to wear collections for their new respective houses. Expectations are always a bad thing, but Simons met them gracefully. His collection was subdued and neat, like a great cocktail, and although refreshing and breathtakingly beautiful, nothing ground breaking — just yet. He delivered a fresh take on Dior, making his mark and keeping true to the heritage of the “new look” while updating it and making it his own with ultra tailored cigarette pants.

Chanel’s suiting and fantastical eveningwear was fresh and exciting. The new suits at Chanel were divine, simply because they are what one dreams the ‘ladies who lunch’ wear to lunch. There were stand out pieces, and a few directional moments this season, particularly the cut off ball gown and cigarette pants by Simons. Outside the hype and politics behind the season’s shows, this couture season was a little less dreamy and slightly more sleepy. I am hoping for a “reality” ( ready-to-wear season) beyond my wildest dreams come September.