This Is What Marion Cotillard and Pierre Cardin Say About Raf Simons' Dior Vision
At the 2016 Dior cruise presentation, we also chatted with Dakota Fanning and Teresa Palmer in the South of France.
Pierre Cardin’s futuristically fantastic Palais Bulles – the French Riviera’s iconic "Bubble Palace" designed by famed architect Antti Lovag and located in the seaside village of Theoule-sur-Mer – hosted Raf Simons 2016 Cruise Collection for Dior on May 11. The groovy night provided steep competition for where to focus one’s eyes from the clothes (metallic prints, bouncy skirts and pointy-toed, lace-up boots!) to the actresses (Marion Cotillard! Dakota Fanning!) to the architecture (bubble windows everywhere!) and the view (the dreamy Mediterranean with the lights of Cannes in the distance!).
But it was the presence of Mr. Cardin himself that caused many attendees to stop and stare at the 92-year-old homeowner, who was seen embracing Simons and chatting with Cotillard amidst constant flashbulbs. Bubbles aside, Cardin's presence was a full circle fashion moment as Cardin got his start in the business working for Christian Dior, a house now led by 47-year-old Belgian designer.
"I’m going to tell you something personally," Cardin told THR. "Raf has personality, this boy, and talent it is certain. He never copies anyone and that is very important. I have great admiration for him."
He wasn’t the only one in awe of Simons’ cruise collection, attended by other stars including Zoe Kravitz, Teresa Palmer, Cressida Bonas, Brad Goreski and Chiara Mastroianni. Cotillard, a longtime Dior ambassador, perfectly broke down what it was like to see a Simons-led show for Dior in the extravagant setting. "Raf is like an architect playing with the Dior spirit," she explained."I love the modernity that Raf brings to everything he does. The more shows I see, you can tell how free he is with this magnificent house and bringing his art as a designer but also as an architect and a poet."
The looks presented, 53 in all, were in line with Simons’ vision of Dior under his watch. It’s modern and structured, at times whimsical, and influenced strongly by themes of art and architecture. Embroidery, prints, metallics and sheer blouses figured strongly in the collection, which also featured fur as well as silk.
One person who gets what Simons is producing is Fanning. "Dior has a lot of cool things right now," the actress, in town only for the cruise presentation, told THR. "They have a lot of cool, funky things and some classic elegant pieces."
After the show, Palmer listed the pieces she’s obsessed with. "One of the looks I was really drawn to is the metallic, A-line skirt with bright colors. But my very favorite of the show was the white, almost crocheted dress with different patches of fur on it. It is absolutely beyond anything," she said to THR. About her ensemble for the evening, Palmer notes: "My stylist and I wanted to go for something very different. It’s a cool Tokyo-meets-the '60s vibe. It’s very edgy and unlike anything I’ve ever worn before. Raf is a revolutionary. He’s an incredible artist, and it feels like each piece he designs is an individual piece of art."
The cruise season has been a jet-setter’s dream and a feast for the eyes for architecture-loving fashionistas. Karl Lagerfeld held his Chanel cruise collection on May 4 at the futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, South Korea, while Louis Vuitton welcomed fans of creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere to Palm Springs on May 6 for a presentation at Bob Hope’s space-age estate, designed by John Lautner.
Nina Garcia attended both the Dior and Louis Vuitton presentations and marvels at the new trend in the business. “It’s quite an experience and privilege to be in this house,” she declared. “I’ve long admired this house and heard so much about it. And to see Mr. Pierre Cardin here! I mean, it’s incredible. Between the Bob Hope house, which I also have an obsession with, and now this, two architectural feats in a week. To be here, is like a dream come true.”
Meanwhile, Cannes veterans may recall another major event held during the film festival at Cardin’s cave-like estate — a 2002 joint bash from MTV and MGM to celebrate James Bond’s 40th anniversary. There may have been no Bond on Monday night, but it’s easy to imagine one of 007’s leading ladies strutting across the screen in any of the ensembles from Simons’ cruise show.
"Raf has seamlessly moved the collection and the codes of the house into the 21st century," Garcia noted. "There’s a lot of Raf in all of his collections, but there’s so many of the codes there also respected. It’s modern and I think that’s what women want."
And what do the people want? Spectacle. And they got it on Monday night an hour after the finale amidst champagne and hors-d’oeuvres (and before a VIP velvet rope post-show party at Cannes hideout Silencio), Dior celebrated the 2016 cruise presentation with a thrilling fireworks display that would’ve outdone just about any July 4th event in the U.S.
The crowd of fashion aficionados — easily bullied for their finicky attitudes — stood in marvel with unprompted shouts of "J’adore Dior" hurled toward the sparkling sea. J’adore indeed.