Christian Dior

Dior Sparks Online Criticism for Traditional Chinese Dressing Design

Dior Sparks Online Criticism for Traditional Chinese Dressing Design

SHANGHAI — Dior has drawn controversy on the Chinese internet for a midlength skirt that online spectators claimed resembled a traditional Chinese garment from the Ming dynasty. Chinese online users criticized the French luxury house for not acknowledging its possible Chinese origin. The hashtag “Dior plagiarism” made Weibo’s hot search list on Saturday and received 13.7 million clicks on the Chinese social media platform.
However, when the skirt was shown on the runway in February, artistic director for women’s Maria Grazia Chiuri’s show notes said the collection aimed to pay tribute to Catherine, Christian Dior’s sister, and was inspired by uniforms, specifically school uniforms. “Maria Grazia Chiuri became interested in school outfits and, above all, in the way students dust off, revamp and update the tropes of these garments, personalizing them with distinctive details, verging on punk overtones, before venturing through urban landscapes in search of spaces of freedom,” the show notes read.

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The $3,800 black pleated skirt stirred controversy among China’s Hanfu enthusiasts, a popular subculture group who enjoy traditional Chinese clothing worn by people from the Han dynasty. They alleged the black wool and mohair wraparound skirt closely resembled a Ma Mian Skirt, or Horse Face Skirt, which was popular in the Ming dynasty.
The skirt is marked as “sold out” on the Hong Kong site and cannot be found on Dior’s mainland China website.
Dior did not respond immediately to a request for comment. 
Some Chinese online users thought Dior’s product descriptor was not misleading, saying the A-line skirt does hark back to the brand’s New Look silhouette.
But despite Dior’s explanation that the inspiration was school uniforms — which have included pleated skirts for decades — Chinese netizens contended the one-piece skirt has the same construction as the Ma Mian skirt, which has front-and-back openings and side pleatings, initially designed to make horseback riding easier for women. The only difference is the length. An orthodox Ma Mian skirt is floor-length, while the Dior version sits below the knee. 
State media People’s Daily Online’s Op-ed section responded with a post by requesting Dior to comment on the subject.
“Without revealing trade secrets, Dior should be as frank as possible about the skirt design process,” the post read. “Industry insiders and copyright experts have joined the discussion. This can be a chance to figure out the boundary between plagiarism, design reference, and paying tribute to something.”
This is not the first time Dior has been caught up in controversy in China. In November 2021, Chinese netizens accused the brand of featuring photos from renowned Chinese fashion photographer Chen Man in an art exhibition in Shanghai. The show featured one of Chen’s earlier works shot in 2012. The image captured a young Chinese woman dressed in traditional Chinese garments holding a Lady Dior bag. Chen was accused of perpetuating Western stereotypes of Asian faces, such as the slanted eye.
State-owned media Global Times also criticized Chen for her “Young Pioneer” series shot in the same period for “edging on Child pornography and insulting Young Pioneers,” the youth branch of the Chinese Communist Party.

Chen issued a formal apology a week later, saying her “early artistic views were not yet fully formed,” causing earlier works to “lack thinking.” Dior removed the photograph from the exhibition and said the brand “takes online sentiment very seriously” and “respects the Chinese people.”

FOR MORE, SEE:
Putting China’s Traditional Hanfu on the World Stage
Dior Retracts Compensation Demands Made to Valentino, Sources Say

5 Things To Know About Christian Dior’s Folky AW 2022 Haute Couture Show

5 Things To Know About Christian Dior’s Folky AW 2022 Haute Couture Show

Living in a moment Maria Grazia Chiuri said she did not like, the creative director used her Dior Haute Couture show as an act of coming together. Anders Christian Madsen reports on the new collaboration with the Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko and the tree of life motif at the heart of the collection.

Maria Grazia Chiuri called for awareness
Photo: Courtesy of Vogue.co.uk

Backstage, before her haute couture show, Maria Grazia Chiuri was wearing the slogan T-shirt she designed for her first Christian Dior ready-to-wear collection in 2016: “We Should All Be Feminists.” It wasn’t part of her new collection, but six years after the designer initially set the tone for a conscious new Dior, she said it was time to reiterate her purpose. “We are living in a moment I don’t like. I am worried that it’s only going to get worse. This is the reality,” she said, referring to the new anti-abortion laws in America. “In Rome, I’ve been seeing posters on the street I don’t like. It’s like a flashback to the past. It’s impacting the lives of all the women who work here. I have this worry that something will happen and I won’t be conscious of it happening. So, I want to be aware.”

Chiuri worked with the Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko
Photo: Courtesy of Vogue.co.uk

Awareness has been the foundation of Chiuri’s residency at Dior, and when it comes to haute couture – a product made for the few and privileged – she justifies its existence by using her platform to promote people and messages that make a difference. This season, she gave her spotlight to the Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko, whose embroidery-based work she had discovered in the Maxxi museum in Rome earlier this year. “Immediately, when I saw her work, I realized that her embroideries come from folk costume,” Chiuri said, tracing the brainwaves that pieced together a collection founded in folk dress, folkloric motifs and the embroidery that has historically been used to illustrate them – executed in collaboration with the Chanakya School of Craft in India, a long-time collaborator of Chiuri.

The collection was based on the tree of life
Photo: Courtesy of Vogue.co.uk

In her enormous tent raised in the back garden of Musée Rodin and lined with milelong front rows, Chiuri once again covered the walls of her show in fully-embroidered tapestries, this time by Trofymenko. They heralded a collection centered around the tree of life motif favored by the artist. “She gave the reference of the tree of life, a symbol I like a lot. It represents the circle of life. I think that’s important in this moment in time because we constantly have to change the way we work and build bridges between different knowledge and savoir-faire,” said Chiuri, whose season had also included an encounter with Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, who has established a network of European artists and artisans “to build a better tomorrow”.

Chiuri interpreted folk costumes from around the world
Photo: Courtesy of Vogue.co.uk

Trofymenko’s trees of life appeared in various painstaking embroideries throughout a collection defined by the meeting between folky patterns and the unmistakable silhouette of Dior. In her research, Chiuri looked at folk costumes from around the world and realized that the patterns used to signify a regional belonging often have a lot in common across borders and beliefs. Through the grammar of haute couture, she freely mixed her inspirations in a collection that felt like a wardrobe for the global community. Applied to the Bar-jacketed lines of Dior, her folkloric foundation inevitably infused proceedings with an earthy and rootsy spirit, which felt very organic. It was a kind of Earth Mother look, which linked to Chiuri’s post-pandemic approach. Now, she said, is a time for coming together and rebuilding the world we want to live in.
Chiuri reflected upon the state of the world

Chiuri closed her collection preview by reflecting upon the state of the world and the impact every disastrous event of our moment in time has on a global company like Dior. She talked about the terrifying rise of the pro-life movement in America, the war in Ukraine and the ongoing Covid limitations in China. “There are people in my studio, who haven’t seen their family for three years,” Chiuri said. At Dior, she continues to use her platform to create the consciousness she said is vital in a reactionary time. As ever, her message was one of coming together: as the third-biggest industry in the world, fashion has the power to make a difference and we need to figure out how.

Originally published in Vogue.co.uk
Read next: The 10 Most Beautiful Wedding Dresses from the Spring/Summer 2022 Haute Couture Season

EXCLUSIVE: Dior Taps Philippe Starck to Reinterpret Medallion Chair

EXCLUSIVE: Dior Taps Philippe Starck to Reinterpret Medallion Chair

PARIS — Just as a fashion designer might spend a lifetime creating the perfect little black dress, Philippe Starck is obsessed with making the ideal chair.With his new collaboration with Dior, due to be unveiled at the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan, he thinks he’s nailed it. Starck, who is behind iconic designs like the transparent Louis Ghost, was commissioned to put his spin on another medallion chair: the Louis XVI-style model that has been a symbol of Dior since the house was founded in 1947.
The designer, who describes his ethos as a constant striving for minimalist perfection, stripped the classic chair down to its bare bones, and chose to make it in aluminum to emphasize the lightness and purity of its silhouette.

“I can tell you that right now, nothing can be ‘less’ than this chair, and that requires a huge amount of work. You have to literally whittle it down. You have to know the technology,” he told WWD in a Zoom interview.

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“I worked to create a totally timeless, definitive design, an icon, so that it will never go out of style,” he added. “We’re right down to the skeleton of the object. That’s why there are very biomorphic shapes in this chair. Semantically, stylistically, we’ve reached the bare minimum.”

Philippe Starck’s sketch for the Miss Dior chair.
Courtesy of Dior

The chair will be the centerpiece of the “Dior by Starck” exhibition, due to run from June 7 to 12 at Palazzo Citterio in Milan, which can be visited by prebooking a time slot online. Starck has commissioned sound artist Stephan Crasneanscki to create a soundtrack for the show, inspired by the imagined life of Miss Dior.
The solo presentation reflects Starck’s stature in the design world. For last year’s Salone del Mobile, Dior commissioned more than a dozen participants, including Pierre Yovanovitch, India Mahdavi and Oki Sato of Japanese design firm Nendo, to revisit the medallion chair.
Working with decorator Victor Grandpierre, founder Christian Dior introduced the streamlined neoclassical style that came to define the Dior universe. The oval-back chair was a feature of his couture salon, as well as his store decor, beginning with the brand’s first boutique on Avenue Montaigne.
Starck said the design had entered collective memory, making the collaboration feel natural.
Dubbed Miss Dior, his take presented a logistical challenge. Only one injector, located in Italy, was capable of creating a mold to produce the chair, which is less than one centimeter thick in places. It comes in three models, featuring one, two or no armrests, priced from 1,500 euros to 5,000 euros.
“I chose a difficult material that’s designed to last. It’s made of recyclable aluminum that is very special, quite expensive and rock solid. There’s no reason for this chair ever to break, and that’s already an extraordinary guarantee when you buy it. You know it’s something that can be handed down,” Starck explained.
The designer, who has always promoted democratic products like his 1989 curved toothbrush for Fluocaril, said the project would have been impossible to achieve without a luxury partner like Dior, willing to invest heavily in the production process.

“I’ve always pushed to keep costs down so that everyone can have access to quality design,” he said. “Given the choice, obviously, I would always prefer that. But there are other people who can afford this. Why deny them?”

Philippe Starck’s Miss Dior chair in polished aluminum.
Courtesy of Dior

The Miss Dior chair telegraphs luxury, with galvanized metallic finishes including pink copper, black chromium and gold, available in satinated or polished versions. By contrast, the polycarbonate Louis Ghost, produced by Kartell, retails for less than 350 euros — though Starck stands by his use of plastic.
“I don’t change with the wind,” he said. “I will always defend my use of plastic, because I did it for environmental reasons, which is to say that when I make a plastic chair, I don’t cut any trees and I don’t kill any animals.”
Starck notes that the polycarbonate used in the Louis Ghost chair is made from renewable raw materials. “I’ve spent a lot of time working with manufacturers, and today, there are bio-sourced plastics. I’ve been waiting for this moment for 20 years,” he noted.
The designer, who is based in Portugal, is also thinking about more significant ways to reduce our environmental footprint. He’s working on a state-of-the-art complex for space training company Orbit that is designed to leave no trace.
“We’re building a city, but reinventing all the parameters. I want it to be the first reversible town, meaning it can disappear in three months and have the smallest possible footprint,” he explained. “In addition to training people for space, which is the future of the world, I’m potentially creating the cities of the future, too.”
Up next is space itself: commercial space station Axiom Space has commissioned Starck to create the crew quarters inside its privately developed modules, which will be attached to the International Space Station. Expect nest-like interiors sprinkled with hundreds of LED lights with changing colors.
As challenging as that sounds, he believes that nothing is harder to design than a chair, and it will be difficult to top the Miss Dior. “Like a lot of couturiers, I have always been on the quest for the little black dress,” he said. “In terms of chairs, now there is this one.”

SEE ALSO:
Dior Medallion Chair Exhibition to Make U.S. Debut
Dior Supports Venice Biennale as Women Artists Move to the Fore
Dior Lady Art Handbag Show Heads to China

Eid al-Fitr 2022 Gift Guide: 11 Thoughtful Picks for Your Loved Ones

Eid al-Fitr 2022 Gift Guide: 11 Thoughtful Picks for Your Loved Ones

Vogue Arabia, January 2022. Photo: Paul Farnham
With Eid Al-Fitr 2022 coming up after a reflective month of Ramadan, it calls for the continued spirit of giving. Welcome your loved ones with a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Forever Rose London or Flowers.ae, and a selection of delectable desserts from Brix. Nothing says Eid like an elegant outfit and what better way to complete that than with Dior’s blush-toned bag and Kurt Geiger’s matte pink heels, which come with a sparkling finish?
Diptyque embraces the Oud scent reminiscent of households on a refreshing Eid day, while Cartier keeps in mind those with a love for Arabic coffee with a collection of cups laced with gold and its signature motif, the panther. Semsem brings out its elegant pieces of clothing to satisfy your kaftan needs this Eid, especially with their olive green draped number, which can easily be paired with Miu Miu’s dazzling princess-like heels for an Eid night out with family.

Below, take a closer look at 11 Eid al-Fitr gifts that are ideal for your family and friends.
Capsule collection, Christian Dior
Photo: Courtesy of Dior
Penthère de Cartier cups, Cartier
Photo: Courtesy of Cartier
Flower of Eternity necklace, Mouawad
Photo: Courtesy of Mouawad
Capsule collection, Off-White
Photo: Courtesy of Off-white
Bouquet, Flowers.ae
Photo: Courtesy of Flowers.ae
Capsule collection, Kurt Geiger
Photo: Courtesy of Kurt Geiger
Floral centerpiece, Forever Rose London
Photo: Courtesy of Forever Rose London
Kaftan, Semsem
Photo: Courtesy of Semsem
Capsule collection, Miu Miu
Photo: Courtesy of Miu Miu
Oud candle, Diptyque
Photo: Courtesy of Ounass
Limited-edition three-tier gift box, Brix
Photo: Courtesy of Brix
Read Next: Eid al-Fitr 2022 Gift Guide: 11 Presents for Anyone Who Loves Beauty, Makeup, Skincare and Fragrances

12 of the Best Ramadan 2022 Capsule Collections for Iftar and Suhoor Gatherings

12 of the Best Ramadan 2022 Capsule Collections for Iftar and Suhoor Gatherings

Photo: Courtesy of Burberry
With Ramadan 2022 just around the corner, come the exclusive capsule collections from some of the biggest fashion houses as well as high-end brands. Having spent the Holy Month in the past two years with Covid-19 restrictions, this year, Ramadan will once again be celebrated with festive gatherings for iftar and suhoor that call for dressing up.

Below, discover the best capsule collections from luxury labels, high-end brands, and local designers with exclusive pieces worth investing in this Ramadan.
Christian Louboutin 
Photo: Courtesy of Christian Louboutin
An ode to Louboutin’s love for nature, gardening, and landscape design, the collection offers pieces for both men and women in lush green hues.
Dior
Photo: Courtesy of Dior
Dior’s handbags and small leather goods are always a winning final touch to every fit. For Ramadan, the French luxury brand has introduced timeless dazzling pieces.
Salvatore Ferragamo 
Photo: Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo has re-introduced its iconic Gancini bag for Ramadan 2022, but with a metallic twist in Flamingo Rose. Combining glamorous and sparkling pieces within their Ramadan collection, there is a piece for every occasion.
Louis Vuitton
Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton embraces emerald green as its color for the holy season as a symbol of class, hope, prosperity, and peace. Alongside introducing ready-to-wear pieces for the occasion for the first time, the brand has also reimagined its Capucines Mini bag in a matte black and python green.
Leem
Photo: Courtesy of Leem
The Saudi label’s exclusive collection for Ramadan is inspired by the Lunar calendar of the month and its religious stages (mercy, forgiveness, and safety), to feature kaftans in a contemporary color palette and modern cuts.
Mango 
Photo: Courtesy of Mango
Mango‘s Ramadan offering features vibrant and playful pieces that add a contemporary twist to modest clothing—from jumpsuits to tailored suits.
Anthropologie
Photo: Courtesy of Anthropologie
Anthropologie’s ready-to-wear collection includes a selection of colorful wrap dresses, comfortable jumpsuits, stylish blouses, and flowy trousers that are ideal for hotter days.
Tony Burch 
Photo: Courtesy of Tony Burch
The Tony Burch Ramadan capsule captures the festive essence of the month in metallic gold and royal blue handbags with gold rope chains.
Michael Kors
Photo: Courtesy of Michael Kors
The Michael Kors Ramadan collection is comprised of 11 timeless pieces from handbags to scarves, bracelets, and belts—all in a rich blue color.
Tommy Hilfiger 
Photo: Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger celebrates Ramadan with a pastel-hued collection of breezy dresses, kaftans, and jumpsuits with gold accents.
Burberry 
Photo: Courtesy of Burberry
Inspired by constellations, sunsets, sunrises, and starry nights of Ramadan, Burberry has launched a collection of glistening pieces just in time for Ramadan.
Bottega Veneta 
Photo: Courtesy of Bottega Venata and Ounass
Available on Ounass, Bottega Veneta’s limited-edition Ramadan offering features three of the fashion house’s iconic pieces reimagined in three distinct colors, including gold.
Read Next: Exclusive: Louis Vuitton’s Ramadan Collection Includes a Debut Clothing Line and a New Fragrance

Saudi Arabia’s Aseel Omran Is Dior’s Very First Middle East Ambassador

Saudi Arabia’s Aseel Omran Is Dior’s Very First Middle East Ambassador

Photo: Hana Levan
French luxury label Dior has some exciting news to share in the region today. The much-loved brand has officially signed its very first ambassador from the Middle East, and the newest member of the Dior family is none other than Aseel Omran. The Saudi singer and actor, who is best known for her music, and her appearances in Gulf Stars and Heya wa Huwa, also shared the news with her 6 million followers on her official Instagram page with a first look. “I’m proud to share with you a partnership that is dear to my heart,” she wrote. “Today I’m officially the first @dior ambassador in the Middle East and I cannot begin to express my excitement level, Dior is a brand I was genuinely a big fan of growing up. I can’t wait to show you what the rest of the year holds.” Check out her post below.

With this move, Aseel Omran joins the likes of Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Carla Bruni, Charlize Theron, Sharon Stone, and Monica Bellucci, all of whom have a special relationship with Dior.
In an official note, Dior also shared that “Aseel will be working closely with the brand across both womenswear and fine jewelry.” The exciting news comes just days after another favorite from the region—Lebanese-born, Dubai-based mother-of-three Karen Wazen—celebrated becoming the very first Middle Eastern to be signed on as an ambassador for Roberto Cavalli fragrances, appearing in the Italian fashion house’s latest campaign.

Christian Dior’s Exhibition in Doha to Feature Nine Looks Loaned By HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser

Christian Dior’s Exhibition in Doha to Feature Nine Looks Loaned By HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser during an official state visit to India. Photo: AR Al-Baker
In a royal lineup of classic gowns and skirt suits, the Christian Dior Exhibition “Designer of Dreams” in Doha’s M7, will feature more than 200 haute couture gowns for the first time in the Middle East, including nine looks from the collection of Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, co-founder and chairperson of the Qatar Foundation. Requested by the House of Dior for the exhibition, Her Highness has loaned the pieces from her private collection, worn during various state visits and high-level events over the years. Curated by Olivier Gabet, director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the exhibition will run from November 6, 2021 to March 31, 2022 to portray the international essence of fashion.
Her Highness’s collection will neighbor other vintage couture gowns for royal figures like Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, and Diana, the Princess of Wales, inviting fashion enthusiasts to visit and educate themselves on the stories behind those pieces.
Raquel Zimmerman Inspired by Eric, Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 2007. Dress in hand-painted off-white triple organza. Christian Dior by John Galliano. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Collection. Worn during La Scala opera house season opening in Milan, Italy in 2017. Photo: © Laziz Hamani
Not only will the collection represent emblematic points from Her Highness’s career, but the one-of-a-kind pieces will reflect her distinctive style identity too. The collection consists of a high neck fuchsia cross-over blazer paired with a long pleated navy blue skirt, an emerald green skirt suit with a matching shawl, a floral ivory gown, an ink-colored suit, a peacock mosaic gown, and a floral embroidered fur robe.
Located in the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha, M7 is part of the Qatar Museum Authority and is led by HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Since its inception, the center has been shedding a fair share of support for designers in Doha, providing all means for them to thrive and succeed.
Read Next: Dior’s New Unexpected Collaboration is Designed to Keep You Fit in Style

Dior’s New Unexpected Collaboration is Designed to Keep You Fit in Style

Dior’s New Unexpected Collaboration is Designed to Keep You Fit in Style

Photo: Courtesy of Christian Dior
In an unexpected yet exciting partnership, Dior and Technogym have joined forces on a line of limited edition home fitness products. The first of its kind collection includes a treadmill, a wellness ball, and a multifunction bench, all emblazoned with the unmistakable Christian Dior logo.
The partnership follows the unveiling of the Dior Vibe line, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s take on sportswear unveiled at the 2022 Cruise show, along with the special Dior Vibe sneaker. The Cruise show featured unique perspectives on athletic clothing items by infusing them with craftsmanship typical to the couture world.
The Dior and Technogym Limited Edition Series. Photo: Courtesy of Christian Dior
The treadmill named the Technogym My Run for Dior can connect to the user’s tablet and offers various on-demand running and walking workouts. Users can opt for any on-demand workout of their choice by placing the tablet on the MyRun console. The second product, known as the Technogym Ball for Dior is not only a seat but also promotes wellness by providing a complete exercise program for flexibility, toning and balance. Meanwhile, the Technogym Bench for Dior, complete with a unique design as well as an addition of dumbbells, elastics, and knuckles, offers over 200 exercises with help of the Technogym App.
Nerio Alessandri, founder of Technogym and Wellness Designer said, “This shared goal of excellence gives life to a limited series of innovative Technogym products interpreted with the Maison Dior’s unique allure. Created to inspire the concept of wellness with new generations, it also offers people the opportunity to live a unique and irresistible experience.”
The equipment has been produced in Italy at the Technogym Village and the collection will be exclusively available in Dior boutiques worldwide from January 2022.
Read Next: Vaccinated Dubai Residents Can Now Access These Gyms for Free

Dior Opens a Summer Shop at Harrods, With Mizza Prints, a Pop Art Feel

Dior Opens a Summer Shop at Harrods, With Mizza Prints, a Pop Art Feel

LONDON — Dior is back for its summer stay at Harrods with a pop-up boutique housing the fall 2021 women’s ready-to-wear collection. The pop-up, which runs from Aug. 4 to 29, will feature a custom-made set by the Italian visual artist Marco Lodola, a key figure in Neo-futurism.
The Pop Art-inspired set radiates light and color and includes Dior’s silhouettes and symbols of the English capital, such as double-decker buses, black cabs and electric guitars. “Above all, we wanted to pay respect to our host city, and celebrate it by creating a strong cultural and social link,” Lodola said.
The shop’s display windows and interior will be adorned with the Mizza leopard print inspired by Mitzah Bricard, who was a muse to Christian Dior. The animal print comes in gray and beige and covers jackets, skirts and shirts, with key items including the Mizza print Bar Jackets, Lady D-Lite bags and Book Totes.

A Lady Dior bag in the Mizza print that will feature in the Harrods pop-up in August. 

In a dedicated alcove, signature Dior handbags such as the Lady Dior and 30 Montaigne will be on display in new micro formats. The pop-up will be located on the ground floor, near fine jewelry, with windows facing Brompton Road.
Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director of women’s haute couture, rtw and accessories collections, said in the fall collection, “I chose to make the leopard print explode, in a poppy way, presenting it in different shapes, colors and fabrics.”
She said her work nodded to “Monsieur Dior’s perfect 1955 spotted coat inspired by a fur coat worn by Madame Mitzah Bricard, one of his friends, muses and collaborators. The leopard print holds an incredible repository of memories and intentions, which I pulled together with a contemporary flair.”
Lydia King, fashion and buying director at Harrods, said “each year, Dior’s takeover of the space is increasingly eye-catching, and this year’s leopard-print paradise is no different. Harrods customers are drawn to the brand’s playful takes on classic styles, so I am confident they will love the injection of leopard on timeless, structured styles such as the Lady D-Lite and the classic Book Tote.”

Sustainable Couture, Mega Yachts Mingle in Montenegro

Sustainable Couture, Mega Yachts Mingle in Montenegro

“I really want people to see that green fashion can be extremely glamorous, sexy and attractive,” Ronald van der Kemp said on Saturday night, moments after the last of his models — in drifting chiffon gowns — exited the palm-lined catwalk, with mega yachts and mountains as the backdrop.
The Dutch designer was the latest high-profile participant in the International Fashion Festival, a two-day, open-air event in Porto Montenegro designed to shine a spotlight on local and international designers — and a spectacular resort destination of fjords and crystal-clear water.
Van der Kemp was gobsmacked by the seaside vistas, the cypress trees, the picturesque medieval villages — and the fashionable crowds strolling the marina in their Gucci dresses, Bottega Veneta mules and Lady Dior bags. “The women really take care of themselves. That’s a very important thing that you see here,” he marveled.

The designer brought his fall 2021 couture collection, unveiled in Paris earlier this month: a smattering of past designs, plus a surfeit of “very floaty summery dresses” exalting a cache of vintage couture prints from the 1970s and 1980s. The show proceeded at a very leisurely pace — in tune with the speed of Montenegro — and spanned 70 looks paraded one-by-one on a long pier.

A look from RVDK Ronald van der Kemp in front of Regent hotel in Porto Montenegro. 
Courtesy

Van der Kemp said he had several sales appointments booked after the show, and was thrilled to have in-person client meetings after more than a year of coronavirus disruptions.

This year’s International Fashion Festival took place at a smaller scale than past editions due to pandemic-related restrictions. The backstage area could accommodate only 20 models, and the outdoor runway setting only 200 guests.
Yet the organizer, the Belgrade-based events agency Fabrika, welcomed a handful of television crews from Balkan countries, plus a raft of sponsors including the luxury hotel Regent, the European Union, watch brand Hublot and carmaker Renault.
Vesna Mandić, founder and chief executive officer of Fabrika, said Porto Montenegro is keen to create a lively social calendar for the people who flock to its world-class marina and luxury hotels and residences — and the International Fashion Festival adds to a slate of dance, sport and music performances organized over the summer season.
The two-day program had a “green” theme and included runway shows by Lisca, a Slovenian lingerie and swimwear company that does business in 60 countries, and two Montenegran designers: Maja Pavićević, whose three-year-old atelier does only unique pieces, and Aleksandra Džaković, whose Akka brand is built on biodegradable materials and sewing-free production techniques. Her pert fashions brought to mind the geometric, Space-Age forms of Pierre Cardin, but were in fact inspired by Montenegrin national costume.

A look from Akka by Aleksandra Džaković. 
Courtesy

Before moving to Porto Montenegro in 2018, Mandić had previously organized her fashion festival for 23 years in Kotor, a fortified town prized for its winding streets and Romanesque churches. Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, Zuhair Murad, Diane von Furstenberg, Emanuel Ungaro and Max Mara are among the famous brands to have participated.
Mandić noted Calvin Klein staged its first fashion show in Europe in Kotor, which also boasts its share of mega yachts and famous visitors.

The Montenegro region shelters a lot of budding designers, with a biannual fashion week in the capital of Podgorica.
Saturday night’s fashion shows were livestreamed, and the RVDK and Akka collections were also paraded through the bustling waterfront cafés of Tivat, the town that is next to Porto Montenegro.
“I believe that sustainable fashion is for everybody,” Oana Cristina Popa, the EU’s ambassador in Montenegro, said ahead of the display.  “We must support young creators and designers who are promoting sustainable, slow fashion instead of fast fashion.”
See also from WWD:
European Royalty Party in Montenegro

EXCLUSIVE: Dior Expands Dioriviera Beach Collection With Pop-ups in China, U.S.

RVDK Ronald van der Kemp Couture Fall 2021

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