Fireworks stuffed the night time sky over Athens as Dior heralded the return of vacation spot resort reveals with a spectacular show in entrance of greater than 700 visitors, marking the primary main runway present with an viewers because the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Anya Taylor-Joy, Catherine Deneuve and Suki Waterhouse had been among the many VIPs who joined native dignitaries led by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou at dusk on the hovering marble stands of the Panathenaic Stadium, a venue for sporting occasions since Antiquity that now serves because the ending line for the Athens Marathon.
“It feels good to be able to share an experience again,” stated Marisa Berenson. “It’s incredible. I mean, you feel the energies of the past here, with all these gladiators.”
Taylor-Joy straightened the fringes of Cara Delevingne’s costume earlier than they posed for photographs. “It feels so, so magical, and it’s so wonderful being here with a family like Dior because they make you feel so welcome and they’re so generous, so this feels particularly special,” she stated.
The actress wore Dior on two of her greatest nights this 12 months, taking dwelling the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice awards for her position within the Netflix collection “The Queen’s Gambit.”
“I feel incredibly lucky to be able to collaborate with somebody, and a house, that understands how special those moments are, and really helps to make them as special as they can be for you. Because the right dress just makes you feel so much better,” she stated.
She will definitely have her decide of red-carpet stunners after Thursday’s present, which featured a parade of goddess robes and closed with a couture model of the swan costume that Björk famously wore to the Oscars — although Maria Grazia Chiuri’s model was impressed by a photograph of Marlene Dietrich disguised because the Greek mythological determine Leda.
Models made their means down a 1,650-foot-long catwalk lit by 20 braziers and rows of searchlights, to the ethereal sound of Greek singer Ioanna Gika backed by a 55-strong orchestra.
Chiuri mixed up to date variations of the peplos, the gown historically worn by girls in historic Greece, with athleisure staples and futuristic sneakers, capturing the temper of elation that’s sweeping many international locations as lockdowns carry and athletes gear up for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
“I was aware of how tricky it can be to stage a show in Athens. It’s like Rome: it can quickly become something too theatrical, from my point of view, less a real ready-to-wear show, and more a reference to the surroundings, a costume or something that you might find in a museum, a play or an opera. I didn’t want that,” she informed WWD throughout a preview in Paris.
“We are doing fashion for now, not for the past and not for the future, but about now. After the pandemic — though we’re not completely out of it yet — we want to move,” Chiuri added.
The model is launching a line known as Dior Vibe, together with clear sneakers with gold or silver accents, and gymnasium baggage with rubberized bases, which it hopes will develop into a pillar assortment. Footwear alternate options included sock sneakers with sculpted heels, and chunky boots with thick rubber soles.
The earlier night time, the home took over the picturesque Plaka Stairs in central Athens for a welcome dinner, the place visitors feasted on native delicacies like stuffed courgette flowers and salt baked sea bass, to the sounds of conventional Greek music.
As Eugenie Niarchos snapped footage of Bianca Brandolini swishing the skirt of her night robe, it felt nearly like outdated instances — barring the a number of COVID-19 exams or vaccine certificates required to journey to Greece and to entry the present venue.
“We have to be exemplary,” Pietro Beccari, chairman and chief govt officer of Dior stated in an interview on the terrace of the penthouse suite on the Hotel Grande Bretagne, which has a hanging view of the Acropolis. “We will have the maximum safety at the stadium. On top of it, it’s windy and we are in an open space.”
He famous that Dior was the primary to stage a bodily style present in Lecce, Italy, on the identical time final 12 months, albeit with out visitors — a daring resolution that helped it to outpace its friends and begin 2021 in “pole position.” A former skilled footballer, Beccari is a extremely aggressive govt who doesn’t shirk from taking dangers.
“Instead of just changing gear and shifting gear toward the bottom, and hitting the brakes, we accelerated. And we kept on the track, and we came out of this track very fast. I’m very proud of my team, and I’m so happy that we had the courage collectively to do what we did,” he recalled.
“We’re just continuing to do what Mr. Dior did, opening his own business,” he continued, noting that Dior launched his model in 1947, proper after World War II. “Our optimism, our courage, is part of the DNA of the brand, and tonight, we do that again.”
Beccari praised Greece’s Central Archeological Council for green-lighting the venture, which included a collection of picture shoots at protected areas, together with the Acropolis.
“It was a big deal. But in the end, I think that our authenticity and our sincere intentions convinced them to give us the permission, which we are very proud of. It wasn’t easy and many, many people were denied in the process,” he stated, in an oblique reference to Chanel, which was reportedly refused an identical request in 2017.
When protests broke out throughout city on the eve of the present, Beccari feared the worst. “I was scared that it was against us when I saw them in front of our hotel. It was just because they have to pass a labor reform bill,” he stated.
Beccari was briefed on the scenario at dinner with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who gifted him a blue and white limited-edition Swatch watch commemorating the two hundredth anniversary of Greece’s wrestle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. The Dior present comes at an important time for the nation, because it seeks to rev up tourism after a misplaced 12 months.
“I was told that there was a very emotional press conference today with Maria Grazia and the Greek press. People were crying,” Beccari stated. “I’m very happy if we can contribute modestly to the image of Greece with this event, which will be seen by millions of people.”
In preparation for the present, Chiuri toured archeological websites, together with the ruins of the palace of Knossos in Crete and the Oracle of Delphi, to search out out extra concerning the worship of feminine divinities in historic instances.
Also on her temper board had been black-and-white images by Edward Steichen and George Hoyningen-Huene; a poster for a current exhibition concerning the Greek gallerist Alexander Iolas, curated by Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli, and a photograph of Dietrich in a white swimsuit.
The latter impressed a relaxed model of the hourglass Bar jacket with tone-on-tone embroidery, with a razor-pleated white skirt in lieu of pants. Known for her love of black, Chiuri embraced her Greek goddess theme with an abundance of white and stone colours, set off by splashes of Aegean blue on exercise gear together with leggings, windbreakers and working bras.
In line with current custom, the model additionally used the occasion to showcase the creativity of native artists and artisans. Dior tapped Silk Line, a manufacturing unit based mostly within the ancestral silk hub of Soufli, to supply the home’s signature stripe and houndstooth motifs utilizing a conventional weaving approach. Family-run Atelier Tsalavoutas made the fishermen’s caps worn with striped tops and shorts.
The scale of the venue drowned out among the craftsmanship particulars, however what got here by way of loud and clear was the angle of the fashions: poised, erect and purposeful. As the fireworks exploded above, the group rose in a standing ovation. If there have been an Olympic contest for style, Dior simply gained a gold medal.