WORDS BY BRENT TAALUR RAMSEY
IMAGES COURTESY OF DIOR
Maison Christian Dior has made its return to Oxfordshire and Blenheim Palace after almost sixty years away, this time with a cruise collection merging the best of Parisian chic with the English nuances long adored by the late anglophile, Christian Dior himself.
The baroque palace has now played host to the French fashion house three times: In 1954 the tenth Duchess of Marlborough invited Monsieur Dior to the estate to showcase his couture creations in order to help raise funds for the Red Cross, but it was the Duchess’s promise that Princess Margaret would be in attendance that sealed the deal; the second time was in 1958, with 22-year-old Yves Saint Laurent at the helm, following Dior’s death.
On May 31, Maison Dior made its grand homecoming under the temporary lead of senior designers Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux, marking the occasion with two special milestones: the arrival of Dior’s Cruise 2017, a collection celebrating the long-lasting English influence on Maison Dior and the new store that has taken up residence next to Chanel on Bond Street in London.
A timely expression of heritage and solidarity in the face of an expanding future sans creative figurehead, this interim season found the storied house presenting cruise wear with youthfulness, quirky prints and a unmistakable English influence.
Many high-profile celebrities were in attendance, including Alexa Chung and model/actress Eva Herzigova. Once guests were ushered inside the lofty library at Blenheim, away from the rain and “The Dior Express,” which had delivered them from London, they were greeted with a runway of layered slip dresses, classic English-inspired suiting, tropical prints and curious colour combos. Puffed sleeves, asymmetrical drawstrings and the ever-necessary coat-dress were amongst the rest – chunky deco heels and oddly disproportionate silhouettes included – but our favourites were the floral-print dresses; perfect for a sunny afternoon and a garden party.