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Dior heads to Scotland for latest ‘cruise’ show

By AFP - Jun 05,2024 - Last updated at Jun 05,2024

A model presents a creation for Dior during the 2025 Dior Croisiere (Cruise) fashion show on Monday at Drummond Castle, in Crieff, in Scotland (AFP photo)

CRIEFF, United Kingdom — Dior tapped into Scotland’s traditions and rebellious streak late Monday, presenting its 2025 “cruise” collection, with punk tartan, chain mail and magical ball gowns.

Haute couture has increasingly taken the catwalk on the road to showcase its latest creations, with “cruises” to spectacular locations all over the world.

After Athens, Seville and Mexico, this year Dior plumped for historic Drummond Castle, near Crieff in Perthshire, central Scotland.

Among the audience in the castle’s formal gardens were Dior muses Jennifer Lawrence, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rosamund Pike and Laetitia Casta, with an army of waiters in elegant black kilts in keen attendance.

Models descended the stone stairs from the castle to the sound of bagpipes, disappearing from view behind the manicured hedges and trees.

They appeared as warriors from the bushes, with long braids down their backs, clad in leather, chain mail and flashy breastplates.

Elsewhere, there were magical lace collars, capes, heavy velvet ball gowns and pearl-embroidered corsets.

Some styles were combined, with skirts opening onto thigh-high boots, kilts, shorts, teddys, knee-high socks and punk-inspired leather and silver chokers.

Tartan, Scotland’s most famous fabric, was mostly everywhere — in purple, gold and bright red — giving a grungy feel.

French actress Camille Cottin said Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri wove tartan and punk culture “with huge grace”.

“It was magnificent,” she said afterwards.

Art of embroidery

Strong female characters are often present in Chiuri’s collections, and the Scottish show was no exception as she took inspiration from Mary, Queen of Scots.

The tragic heir to the throne of England spent nearly 20 years in captivity before being executed in 1587.

“She spent decades embroidering as a means of comfort and reflection but also to express herself during her 19 years of imprisonment,” Chiuri wrote on Instagram.

The collection as a result featured Scottish emblems such as the unicorn and the thistle.

Dior, which is part of luxury brand LVMH, joined forces with local artisans and designers, notably Samantha McCoach, who founded the brand Le Kilt, to reinterpret the Scottish wardrobe essential.

The show also paid homage to Dior’s founder, Christian Dior, and his love of Scotland and its traditions.

Nearly 70 years ago, he organised a spectacular show at the nearby Gleneagles Hotel, and an evening of dance with high society of the time.

“Cruise” shows in exceptional locations are helping to boost a brand’s image as the luxury industry struggles to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

LVMH for example saw a two-per cent fall in sales in the first quarter of 2024 compared with the same period last year, with spending hit by inflation globally.

There is also a boost to local tourism.

“To have Dior, an iconic fashion house, come to Perthshire will bring worldwide attention to the region,” Caroline Warburton, from VisitScotland, told AFP.

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