Dior's Historic Cruise 2017 Collection

Dior's Historic Cruise 2017 Collection

V's Michael Gleeson expounds on Dior's storied Cruise collection at the Blenheim Palace

V's Michael Gleeson expounds on Dior's storied Cruise collection at the Blenheim Palace

Photography: Schohaja

Text: Michael Gleeson

Cruise has become the seasonal opportunity for houses like Dior to prove that heritage overcomes an eminent creative direction, by thrilling a hypercritical fashion audience with a sensorial experience that outweighs convention. 

A couple of weeks ago, Karl Lagerfeld gave a notable fashion audience the opportunity to experience a recently  liberated Havana, where 1950s restored Cadillacs drove detached crowds to a typical Sunday promenade (Paseo del Prado), delivering a geo-appropriate collection that reminded us of Chanel's global standing. In the time since, Nicolas Guesquière wowed a similar crowd in Rio de Janeiro with an ultra luxe sporty collection for Louis Vuitton at the cylindrical Niterói Contemporary Art Museum overlooking Guanabara Bay.

Yesterday, it was Dior's turn to deliver their 2017 Cruise collection, under the allegedly provisional direction of Swiss duo Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux. Curiously to some, the house decided to show in the British countryside at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire—an 18th century structure built in celebration of the British victory over the French in the war of the Spanish Succession (and where Winston Churchill was born). We later learned, via the "Dior in London" app, that Blenheim has been a peace ground between France and England who have a long standing love-hate relationship, and an ongoing fight for cultural superiority, here moderated by Dior with the brand's third show at the manor (in November 1954 Monsieur Dior showed his couture collection followed by his protégé Yves Saint Lauren, in November 1958).

The journey started at Victoria Station where an over-dressed crowd was scheduled to depart on a 1:30pm train ride, an entourage of porters/male models were waiting perfectly suited in Dior. After a 30 minute wait, the Dior Express arrived. While buckets of rain blurred the Oxfordshire view, guests were treated to a three course lunch inside the 1920s coaches before a fleet of S-Class Mercedes and XJ Jaguars transferred guests from the end destination to the breathtaking palace. 

Meier and Ruffieux delivered a well researched and thought-out collection, which included tailored Bar jackets abbreviated at the hip in typical Dior volume, signature bows, strict shaped skirts, voluminous sleeves, embroidered two print tops, white layered shirting and classic tweed coats which celebrated the Anglomania of the collection. The crowed rushed out of the palace hiding from the water which limited the enjoyment of discovery, back to London.

Click here to see V's backstage photos from the collection.

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