For Cruise 2017, the couture house chose the stunning and historic Blenheim palace to stage the show. The palace is embedded amongst Dior's history books with two previous shows held there. One in 1954, designed by Monsieur Dior himself and the other in 1958 when Yves Saint Laurent was the creative director. Both were attended and loved by Princess Margaret.
The duo managing the design team took to the English country life and posh post war wardrobes as inspiration. The collection consisted of quirky and young silhouettes as opposed to the elegant ones we had been seeing in the past. Rounded puffy sleeved dresses were layered with slightly flared pants, skirts or worn on their own. Whilst there was lots of floral embellishment, I adored the way flowers were embroidered on to printed fabric. Case in point: The black cotton embroidered printed shirt. There were blazers with a thin silk scarf like fabric flowing through from one side to the other. Whilst the blazers were nice, the flailing fabric seemed unnecessary.The bar jacket was reworked and instead of a peplum, they came with a soft U-shaped drape on the waist. The same draping technique was seen on dresses and tops too. Amongst the outerwear, an off white crepe and wool jacket that folded over below the waist with oversized buttons was a favourite and so was a powder blue tweed number. Hunting imagery was depicted on casual jacquard knits and there were lovely English style tea dresses. Accessories included fun bangles made from wood, leather and metal. A flap bag brought in the old Christian Dior logo and was reminiscent of their iconic saddle bags from more than a decade ago. There were also these oversized shopping bag kind of purses which I wasn't a fan of.
Overall, it was a nice collection that worked on revamping the house's codes, but I wasn't bowled over by it. There needs to be the guidance of a solid creative director to get that WOW factor we have been used to by geniuses like Simons and Galliano. However, having said that, hats off to the design team for still putting in a solid effort because Dior loyalists will still be queuing up to buy their favourite pieces.