At the end of May, I was invited to attend an exciting event: The Christian Dior cruise 2017 collection show. The main event took place about 60 miles away in Oxfordshire, England at the iconic Blenheim Palace. This location is an important part of Dior’s history: the fashion house showed collections there in 1954 and then again in 1958, under Yves Saint Laurent. The palace was built in the 18th century, and it’s a very special estate that was named a World Heritage Site.
The fashion show itself was scheduled for May 31, but the events began the evening before with a lovely dinner. The guests had flown in from all over the world to attend, and it was so interesting to meet so many different people. The dinner was held at a nice restaurant they named “The Lady Dior Pub” for the evening, and I had the opportunity to sit directly in front of Sidney Toledano, Dior’s president and chief executive. He was very nice and easy to talk to, and the whole evening was a relaxing, stress-free start to the trip.
The action really started the next day! The organizers had arranged for us to have our hair and makeup done, so we were up very early to get ready. From there, we drove to the Victoria Station to board “The Dior Express,” an original Oriental Express train that would take us to Blenheim Palace for the main event. Even though Oxfordshire is only about an hour’s drive from London, the train ride took about two and a half hours, giving us time to enjoy a nice lunch and tea.
When we finally arrived to Oxfordshire, something happened that we weren’t prepared for: rain! It was quite a scene with so many carefully-dressed and styled men and women taking cover under umbrellas to hurry toward private cars waiting to take us to the palace. All the perfect outfits and hairstyles weren’t quite so perfect anymore, but everyone made it to the castle still looking fabulous.
Although we couldn’t walk the red carpet because of the rain, an orchestra greeted us as we arrived, and we were treated to a tour of the palace and had the chance to admire some vintage couture dresses. Then, we all took our seats and the show began. One thing many people don’t know about fashion shows is that they’re quite short – usually 15 minutes or less! So it went by very quickly, but everything was so nicely presented.
This is a very interesting time for Dior as a brand because they haven’t yet replaced their last formal creative director, so the designs are created in-house. This means that the team is incorporating existing designs and materials, so you can see pieces of previous collections reflected in the new looks. While some of the patterns and cuts were familiar, the collection was still very unique and beautiful.
After the show, we enjoyed cocktails at the palace and then headed back to London in private cars.. Then, that evening, we were invited to a VIP event at Loulou’s, a big nightclub in Mayfair. This part of the day was really cool because the club has so many different levels and rooms, and Dior had done an amazing job setting up all kinds of entertaining things to see and do. There was even an aura reader who could tell us all about our energy and what we were good at! It was very fun, and it was interesting to see so many different designers, models, and celebrities like Kate Mara and Elizabeth Olsen wandering from room to room, taking in all the sights.
The evening party concluded an incredible two-day event, all dedicated to Dior’s cruise collection. It was a great, intense experience that was very different than any other fashion event I’ve attended before. Normally, designers showcase their collections during fashion weeks, so guests are going from one show to the next. But because so many people had flown in from all over the world just for this one, special show, Dior definitely went all out to put together a busy, event-filled schedule. It was exhausting, but wonderful, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to attend. J’adore Dior!