For the Dior Cruise 2015 collection Raf Simons introduced the fashion set to the land of Dior. Arriving at the 35th East Side Pier in Manhattan, guests were greeted by male models in sharp navy Dior blazers (according to the patches on their breast) like friendly cruise personnel as they shuttled invitees down the ramp and onto the yellow Dior branded ferry taxi.
It was all quite a show. The Dior logo large and definitive on the side of the venue as the ferry approached, more branding in a smaller sign above the male models who retrieved glasses before guests stepped off the ferry and finally into Brooklyn to a matching welcoming line of sorts proudly bearing the Dior logo while guests posed for photographers in a step and repeat procession. This was World Dior.
The show proper was lofted. The bright white Navy Yard's Duggal Greenhouse venue (workers were scrubbing scuff marks away as we filed in to the space, soiling the purity) made for a strong first impression. A soaring ceiling with oversized whirling fans, and walls of windows looking out over the river made views of Manhattan a cityscape scenery for the event.
It was a nice touch considering the show notes spoke of America. Designer Raf Simons himself called America a constant inspiration, referencing the melting pot of styles and an idea of freedom. His flag? A silk scarf. It found itself wound around the ankles of models in solids (black, blue and red) and a major inspiration for skirts in a procession of four dresses that fluttered down the runway starting at exit 50. There it was tempered with Simons’ ongoing play of rigidity and fluidity: heather tweed bodices kept things stable up top. One flag even waved lazily on the LED screen and was reflected at large on the mirrored wall that played as the show’s backdrop.
Of course silk scarves, or the French carré, are almost nothing without a bit of print. Here Simons shined with his artistic hand-painted motifs splashed on everything from dresses to scarf tops and even some of the covetable bags.
It was a strong, sensible collection full of covetable pieces that were sometimes new takes on Dior staples like a black wool suit with a curving, soft hem, to some newer pieces for the brand like a patchworked navy astrakhan, mink and breitschwanz coat that spoke American craft.
Marion Cotillard at Dior's cruise show. pic.twitter.com/ZL4GOutta9— Women's Wear Daily (@womensweardaily) May 7, 2014
It was World Dior indeed. A world where a smiling Maggie Gyllenhaal chatted on her phone not far from Delphine Arnault and Cathy Horyn, all in line to congratulate Simons who was entangled with Rihanna.
It took only a short trip back across the river, and over hearing a cop yell to drivers lined up to chauffeur returning guests to move, "I don't care who you're waiting for!”, to create a deep longing to return to the World Dior that Simons had so skillfully created.