Christian Dior @ Cruise 2014 Collection

Christian Dior Cruise 2014 Collection takes you on a dynamic cruise holiday with ease. The very idea of a cruise collection is literally and metaphorically explored by Raf Simons, Artistic Director of Christian Dior, in the clothing of this contemporary collection croisiére. A sporting fusion of historical motifs and a contemporary take on the Dior archive, with an insouciant ease and light attitude to all, is at the heart of the collection. “The focus for me here was on lace and energy. It was a challenge, I never worked with lace before. It was about transforming the meaning of the material; not romantic, not historical, not old, to something light, playful, colourful and modern with energy.” explains Raf Simons.

The motif of lace runs throughout the collection, examined in a multiplicity of ways and treatments; printed, embroidered, bonded, glazed, the exquisitely detailed work of the Dior atelier pushing the material to the extreme in both form and meaning. At the same time other traditional elements are treated in a similarly dynamic and insouciant way.

The signature ‘Bar’ tailoring is further explored, here rounded and relaxed for this collection. Elements from the Dior archive abound, particularly in the full-skirted dresses – modelled on the ones made by Christian Dior at the start of the house with his luxurious, rebellious use of material then – here reimagined and redefi ned; history cut through with bomber jacket zips, expressed in new materials, and layered with knitted ‘sunwear’, itself a take on scuba swimwear and traditional forms of bathing costumes.

The element of sunwear reoccurs throughout, often layered under lace, and is just one of the sporting elements that permeates the collection giving a feeling of utility, luxury and ease. An insouciant way of dressing is emphasised here; the formal mixed with the casual ending in the shoes, which effortlessly mix the moulding techniques of contemporary training shoes with the house tradition of the Vivier-style stiletto and comma heels. Stripped down, soft gum lacquer coated cuffs and necklaces frequently reoccur, also emphasising this sporting feel mixed with the formal elegance of the collection.

The sea front of Monte Carlo is the setting for the show, a dynamic strip of sea that the silhouettes glide by in the open-sided, streamlined, simplicity of the venue. Here, the Mid-Century colour combinations of the collection and essential movement of the clothes are highlighted in the Mediterranean light. It is at once a nod to where the cruise collection originally catered for and the vital notion of where the house is moving to.

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