Wednesday 1st June

| BY Jack Moss

Christian Dior: Cruise 2017

Lucky, lucky fashion folk that we are, we spent yesterday not chained to our desks doing such important tasks as well, answering the occasional email, but instead it was off to Blenheim Palace, ancestral pile of the Duke of Malborough for Dior’s Cruise 2017 show. Whisked off, not by those terribly common things known as cars, but by the Orient Express, gorge, as we were plied with fine pastries and champagne and shown to our seats by a selection of facially blessed instructors. Cheekbones. Delicious. It was, I believe you might say, the epitome of Britishness, complete with much pelting rain – no dampened spirits, though, stiff upper lip and all that, because, as Blenheim Palace emerged from the long driveway in all its majesticness, the rain merely added a certain je ne sais quoi. The house is a place important to the history of Dior, where, in 1954, Princess Margaret watched as Christian Dior presented his couture collection to her and a collection of other esteemed genteel ladies of the time, transporting the Dior’s magic to British shores. And those dresses were here too, albeit on mannequins, greeting the guests, a nod to past and present. The collection itself, held in the estates grand library, upon a carpet of hundreds of tiny foxes, was a sort of ode to this English gentlewoman – little suits that nipped at the waist, puffs of ruffled sleeves, wallpaper-esque florals and a very Dior take on the humble tea dress. But there was heed taken to Dior’s Parisian history too, the trapeze shapes, the long coatdresses – proving that, whilst the house may not have a named designer, the team, headed by Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux, are well versed in the house’s history. Natalie thinks there was a touch of Alice in Wonderland to the proceedings. In her words (or at least, what I could hear from her calls from downstairs), “One pill makes you bigger, one pill makes you smaller. An acid trip of an English country house. A patch work of Britishness”. There we go. Another truly magical Cruise experience.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans