Dior in the desert

The invitations for Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first ever cruise collection  for Dior made it clear this was going to be a show with a difference, set in a canyon reserve out of LA, along with the accompanying strong recommendation to wear shoes that were comfortable to walk in and be prepared for the cold desert night air.

The tote bag that was part of the arrival gifts waiting in my hotel room further reinforced the theme of the event, and that this was going to land a long way from traditional cruise boat inspired collections.


Now I have to admit the comfortable walking shoes threw my outfit selection into quite a spin, while I’m better served in the flat shoe/block heel department post the whole ‘smashed up ankle months in a moon boot’ saga of a few years ago, I don’t normally make my fashion show selections from that part of my wardrobe.  Being surrounded by models and the fashion set also tends to make you feel short and stumpy in a way that few other situations can deliver, so I was pretty happy to find a pair of blockheeled Dior lace up boots that I could team with what is probably the only item in my wardrobe which could remotely fall into the bo-ho/festival look I had decided to run with.

A fleet of black SUV’s drove us out through the Thursday afternoon traffic to the canyon, where we transferred into golf carts for the final part of the journey.  I have to admit I was feeling pretty smug about my shoe choice at this point, as those who’d decided to ignore the no stilletto advice were faced with the reality of their decision!

As our golf buggy’s raced down the dirt track we turned a bend and were greeted with the spectacular sight of two hot air balloons rising above the field, complete with hovering drone to capture the scene from above.

We moved into the series of tents that been set up, adding to the festival like feel, and discovered that we each had a Dior blanket on hand in case we’d ignored the ‘bring something warm’ advice, and these quickly became the hottest item of the night (no pun intended)  with any abandoned blankets very quickly finding a new home…

With my friend Roman from Dior NYC

The show started, and from the first look the  theming first seen in the artwork on the tote bags was reinforced.  The guide for the show explained that Christian Dior had taken inspiration from rock paintings in the Lascaux cave  turning them into a print back in 1951, which in turn had inspired Maria Grazia Chuiri’s first cruise collection for the House of Dior.

I was obsessed with this fringed poncho dress
Beautiful embroidery on this skirt reflected the imaging first seen on the tote bag.
The inspiration was clear from the opening look
I loved this sequined hand print
Equally this feathered skirt….
Maria Grazia Chiuri, acknowledged with applause and iPhones

As the show concluded and sun went down we all rushed to take pictures of the balloons and the Dior Sauvage letters that had lit up in the distance.  There’d been suggestions that the area was home to both snakes and mountain lions, but with the level of activity and noise we were creating I think the far bigger risk came from inappriorate shoe selections rather than wildlife!

It was time for the party to start, and everyone made their way to the festival style food trucks and bars that were dotted through the tents, complete with custom Dior cocktail menus. 

It wouldn’t be a festival without music, and Solange took to the stage to play a set. 

I loved that Maria Garcia Chiuri joined us to listen to Solange, and share the celebratory feel of the night. 

The after party kicked on and before we knew it it was time to jump in an SUV and had back to LA under the light of the desert moon. 

A huge thanks to Dior for a wonderful few days, it was my first festival experience and I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s going to be a hard one for another festival to live up to!

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