Luxury fashion labels aren’t allowed to sit still, forced to answer the constant question hovering above their houses – has it lost its touch? With decades under their respective belts, brands must reinvent at every turn so their legacies can endure.
Like all good fashion revolutions, they’re well informed by the past. After being appointed Gucci’s new creative director in January 2015, Alessandro Michele trawled through the archives to resurrect old motifs, bringing them to runways in an entirely new way (and on transgender models). His work would have pleased both the earliest customers in 1938 (when Gucci first opened on Via Condotti in Rome) and those lining up today.
If Gucci can reignite curiosity after so many years, why not French couturier Dior after 70?
Raf Simon's successor, Maria Grazia Chiuri, is the label’s first female director and is credited for making the clothing young again. She’s about to unveil her third collection for Dior in Australia –ready-to-wear, autumn-winter 2017– through pop-up stores at David Jones in Sydney and Melbourne. This coincides with the opening of the National Gallery of Victoria’s retrospective exhibition, The House of Dior.
Why choose David Jones for its only collaboration? It was here that the first Dior show was held outside of France in 1948. Ten packing cases containing 40 Dior creations landed in Sydney for the first outing, changing the face of fashion.
Chiuri speaks Dior’s language, but to a new audience. The collection is shaped by the decades that came before, starting with the iconic bustier dress and finishing with leather berets. Dior’s navy colour fascination returns through denim; sheer and sweeping skirts; whimsical capes; tartan coats; and fitted bomber jackets. With a youthful verve, underwear is seen through sheer bra-dresses, giving it a sporty motif. Jewels are designed to be worn generously, layered with studded bags with Dior Oblique straps.
The store reimagines the monotone signature of the Parisian flagship at 30 Avenue Montaigne with blue carpet, navy matte finishes and plexiglass. Just look for “Dior Blue” in neon and you’ve arrived.
After Louis Vuitton’s Supreme collaboration in Bondi, and Chanel’s reinterpretation of the Ritz in Melbourne, it’s Dior’s turn to make a deep change Down Under.
The Sydney store will run August 9–21, followed by Melbourne from August 25 until September.
Bourke Street Mall
310 Bourke Street, Melbourne