A Transatlantic Journey, Tres Magnifique ... Dior Cruise 2015

Stars shone brightly upon Brooklyn as front-row celebrities and avid fashionistas converged at the Brooklyn Navy Yard recently. 

Located at the banks of the East River, for one night only, the navy docking yard was transformed into an haute fashion venue, complete with a runway stage.

And for one night only, the stage that was bedecked with mirror and LED interior brimming with animated reflections of fluid, floating scarves that echoed the outside world and abstracts, will host a parade of models, dressed in Dior Cruise 2015 ready-to-wear and accessories collection by Raf Simons.

At the front row, trendsetting celebrities such as Rihanna, Maggie Gylenhaal in a cropped, blonde coif, Marion Cottilard and Leelee Sobieski just to name a few all dressed in Dior were walking along the red carpet, posing for the beckoning photographers. 

Also joining the chic ladies during the evening were fashion design duo Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough from Proenza Schouler and media magnate Harvey Weinstein were there to lend their support.

For the Cruise 2015 collection, Raf Simons, the Artistic Director of Dior took Dior fans for a cruise across the pond, from the azure-watered plages of Côte D’Azur to the pragmatic coastlines of New York by adopting the American interpretation of style and its emblematic place in national identity. 

The element is latter married off to the quintessential European sensibility that is naturally present within Dior’s longstanding design DNA, hence conceiving a collection that is imbued with subtle yet abstracted fashion perspective whilst brimming with contemporariness and nonchalant elegance. 

“America is a constant inspiration for me,” says Raf Simons. “The pop culture, the energy, the fluidity… there is just something so alive here. What I always like in America is that there is such a melting pot of styles. But there is always a look – a strong look. Whether it is uptown or downtown, East or West coast, there is always a strength and reality to how women dress here.”

While Americana may be the crux of the collection design and inspiration, the leitmotif is of French origin, which comes in the form of the French carré or the silk scarf. 

In this collection, the scarf is given a new treatment ― not as a scarf but as the flag of the collection ― with every aspect of it from its pop iconography to the conservative and lady-like connotations are fully explored, hence bringing forth is sinuous and free-spirited sensibility. 

Even its geometry is often borrowed for the garment construction while the scarf’s hand-painted patterns provide supple decoration.

Employing traditional and firm couture constructions, Simons combined and contrasted the painstaking technique with the myriad of silks, the rigid bodices and fluid sleeves and skirts. 

The classic pleats and godets of Dior are relaxed and flow with their sinuous construction and bias cutting bring forth a further study of hard and soft – a theme that runs throughout the collection that is also encompassing scarf-wrapped shoes and jewellery.
“I wanted an element of playfulness in powerful looks, it was an element of freedom coming into those looks,” explains Raf Simons. “This freedom is something I admire in the way particular American women dress. And I feel a really strong energy coming from American women in their response to the work I am doing at Dior – and historically to the response America had to the work of Christian Dior himself. It is a reciprocal relationship and I wanted to return that feeling.”

A different kind of ‘handmade’ sensibility comes into play with the exploration of American ‘homespun’ crafts; the French atelier’s take on macramé, with its delicate, seamless formations, large patchwork furs that resemble blankets but belie their supreme compositional skill, the utilisation of supple suede both for outerwear and skirts, hand-woven skills usually employed for carpet making, radically applied to the construction of tailoring.

Dior Cruise 2015 ready-to-wear collection will be available at Dior boutiques and selected multi-brand boutiques around the world by the final quarter of 2014. 

*Photos courtesy of Dior

Dior – Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur


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