These days cruise shows are big splashy affairs with hundreds of guests being flown around the world to exotic destinations. Dior’s show, held last night in the stunning Palais Bulles overlooking the Cote d’Azur, was no less spectacular. More than that it felt extremely personal, from the choice of the venue to the event itself, which was free of the usual hoards of paparazzi and celebrities (except for longtime fan Marion Cotillard and actress Dakota Fanning). Pierre Cardin, who once upon a time worked in Dior’s tailoring atelier and currently owns the Palais Bulles, also attended the show.
Cruise shows are different to ready-to-wear in that it they give a brand the opportunity to connect with clients and the media on a more intimate level while creating a world where we can experience the brand through more than just its clothes. For Dior this meant transporting us to the French Riviera, a location that was much loved by Monsieur Dior himself (so much so that he even had a home here called La Calle Noire, a beautiful chateaux surrounded by gardens that would inspire many of his collections).
With the link to Dior’s past already sealed, Raf Simons brought his own personality to the event by choosing the location, which he first discovered several years ago. Designed by Hungarian architect Antti Lovage, the terracotta structure is covered in glass bubbles and looks like it was taken out of The Flinstones with its kooky architecture. Indeed it was perfect setting for the playful yet thoroughly modern collection.
Ever since he joined the house, Raf Simons has been intent on updating the house codes while still proposing an authorative view on how women today want to dress. This season he is taking them out of their comfort zone with lurex knits that bring to mind maillots and pleated mini skirts and dresses covered in a metallic print and abstract patchworks of lame that bring to mind mountain landscapes.
He really went all out by layering 3D textures as seen in the laser-cut perforated jackets, net tops and patchwork fur dresses. For evening he went simple with bias cut black dresses that would look as fabulous by the poolside as they would on the red carpet during the Cannes Film Festival which starts tomorrow.
And although the bar jacket disappeared last season, he brought it back for Cruise, this time with pleated fronts and curved sleeves and covered in checks. They were paired with taffeta shorts covered in gingham, creating a playful contrast with the severe lines of the jacket. On their feet models wore unfussy black leather flip flops – what modern woman wouldn’t be comfortable in those?
The evening ended with a grand fireworks display that left sparkles across the blue skyline. Trust Dior to always go out with a bang.