Christian Dior is one of the few brands that everyone knows about, whether you're into fashion or not.
Since its inception in 1946, when Dior redefined what it meant to be fashionable with his feminine New Look silhouette, it's become a byword for modern elegance. Whether helmed by John Galliano or Raf Simons (who left the house last year, leaving the house without a high-profile creative director) it's still revered as one of the pillars of fashion. It's loved by legendary critics and young high-profile stars such as Rihanna, who has recently designed a sunglasses line for the brand. Its appeal is far reaching. So without a famous creative director at the reins (it's currently helmed by studio heads Serge Ruffieux and Lucie Meier), how does Dior maintain its reputation as an industry powerhouse? Well, by staging its latest cruise collection at Blenheim Palace, where it last showed in 1954 and 1958. Cruise shows have grown increasingly in terms of scale over the past few seasons (just look at Chanel's recent Havana outing) but you don't get much ostentatious than a baroque palace. It was an impressive, unforgettable, branding exercise. Here's what really happened at Dior's grandest show to date, plus the styling notes you can try yourself now.
Dior opened its own pub
Guests - who had flown in from around the world - made merry in a pop-up Lady Dior pub, attended by Ruth Wilson, Kiernan Shipka and Kate Beckinsale.
Guests were taken up to Blenheim Palace on the Dior Express
The fashion press travelled via the Dior version of the Orient Express, a wildly decadent train providing gourmet food, infinite champagne and, importantly, plenty of Instagram opportunities. Staff wore a uniform in the brand's signature dove grey, complete with jaunty hats.
But, not even Dior can contend with joyous public transport delays
The Diorient Express, as it was coined, was 45 minutes late leaving Victoria station in London after train delays, leaving stars including Bianca Jagger standing on a wet, rainy platform.
Dior hired two private trains, 300 cars and a helicopter or two
True, we didn't actually see the helicopters, but we have it on good authority that they were used.
Bella Hadid was made the new beauty ambassador
The news was announced the morning of the show, and naturally she made a catwalk appearance. Brilliantly, Bella refused to eat the tuna mayo sandwiches on offer backstage, saying she fancied pizza instead. She also, incidentally, tried cauliflower cheese last night - which she loves - and merrily tucked into a chocolate muffin backstage. A woman after our own hearts.
Models' hair was covered in more gel than you can imagine
. explains 's sleek, dramatic hair and how to get it - if you're feeling brave
- British GLAMOUR (@GlamourMagUK) </blockquote>
Bear with us on this. Redken creative director and general hair legend Guido Palau went for a "simple, modern look that had no reference to the past". Hair was combed away from the face with a wide tooth comb, while the back was left natural and the face exposed. So wet and dry, shiny and matte. "We're in this beautiful old setting so I wanted the hair to look modern," said Palau. Greasy hair is officially in.
Diversity was a hot topic
Casting director Anita Bitton hired 56 models to feature in the show. While Britton - a long-term collaborator of Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs - wanted to find models who represented the Dior woman's "independent, youthful and sophisticated" spirit, diversity was always at the forefront. "When you're selling things to people, they have to feel represented. That's very important - whether race or gender or shape - and we've made some good steps but there's still so much more to be done."
New season Dior is all about post-war high society ladies who fancy a holiday
Think English eccentricity - rosebud florals juxtaposed with African prints and embroideries, as well as scenes from the traditional English hunt, which adorned shirts and tweed.
Prepare to wear silk ribbons round your wrist next season
This styling note is thought to have been inspired by famed original Dior muse, Mitzah Bricard.
And, regrettably, cropped flare trousers aren't going anywhere
Yes, they look great on Alexa Chung, but they are somewhat trickier for the rest of us. Whatever your take on cropped flares are, Dior's still big into them for 2017.
Clumpy ankle boots prevail
Now this is a trend we can get behind - utility boots. They'll dominate the coming autumn/winter season and beyond.
The FROW starred Alexa Chung, Emma Roberts and Kate Mara
Princess Margaret was present at Dior's last Blenheim Palace show, but the only show of royalty this time round was Lady Kitty Spencer.
And can we talk about the incredible fanfare that welcomed show guests?
We expect the same trumpet-based welcome every time we enter a room please. The band rehearsed their musical talents ahead of show with renditions of the Star Wars soundtrack. Genius.
Uber is dead, the only way to leave a fashion show is via motorbike
At least that's how the models are doing it.
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