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Dior stages fierce posh punk Mary Stuart cruise show in Versailles of Scotland

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Mary, Queen of Scots, has always been an inspiration to the French, rarely more so than on Monday evening in the latest Dior cruise collection staged in Scotland.
 
Born Mary Stuart, the daughter of King James V of Scotland and his French wife, Mary of Guise, her tragic tale, and fierce resistance to her cruel fate led to one finest collections ever by Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri for the house of Dior. 

Dior cruise 2025 collection – FashionNetwork.com

And a show that opened with a female piper playing plaintively, dressed in a dark red gown like that worn to Mary’s own execution, in a Catholic symbol of martyrdom. Before warrior princesses marched out in midnight blue, dark purple and forest green wool plaids cut into great décolleté cocktails, zippered boleros flouncy. Skirts and wind-cheaters. The look moved into medieval mode with tartan breastplates and sequined tops that looked like armor plating. Nearly every model shod in multi-strap mechanics boots, unzippered and worn with dark argyle knee socks, the latest look by Chiuri that will ignite a worldwide trend. 

All admired by a front row that included Rosamund Pike, Lily Collins and Jennifer Lawrence.

This cruise show was also the latest great example of Chiuri’s restless ability to connect with rare local designers, artisans and fabric resources.
 
Chiuri flew to the Outer Hebrides to study Harris Tweed weavers, and incorporated their tweeds in multiple looks. She went to the north east coast of Scotland to work with Johnstons of Elgin knitwear, and 
teamed up with local It Gal designer Samantha McCoach of Le Kilt to develop practical pocketed kilts.
 
“We were able to work with a large group of local suppliers, which was a beautiful experience and also led to a very new palette for Dior,” noted Chiuri, who wore an elongated pleated kilt with multiple pockets finished like a carpenter’s harness – the better to carry cell phone, cigarettes or scissors.
 
The show also reunited Dior with Scotland. Back in April 1955, Christian Dior presented a spring/summer collection at a charity ball inside Gleneagles, the legendary baronial hotel, and in a runway show in a Glasgow’ Central Hotel. Photos of those events – runway models in tulle, Monsieur Dior in a white tie looking on delighted at his creations or even ticketless visitors standing outside – were photoshopped onto punky breastplates, Dior totes and complete coats. And even into collectors’ item blankets handed out to guests as temperatures dropped before the show.
 

Dior cruise 2025 collection – FashionNetwork.com

Chiuri, fashion’s greatest feminist creator, also referenced ‘Embroidering the Truth’, Clare Hunter’s cultural biography of Mary Stuart, showing how Mary used lavish fabrics as the prospective wife of the French Dauphin, or later, in captivity, embroidered coded messages to her supporters.
 
“Clare Hunter’s book is fascinating in how she explains Mary’s experience of the prison with her ladies in waiting. Utilizing her “domestic” work of sewing and embroidery to express her own positions. It’s feminist – it is in the sense of community of working to stand for something,” insisted Chiuri, sitting on a raspberry and orange plaid couch at a backstage, pre-show preview.
 
Chiuri placed adjectives like fierce, difficult, nag or hysterical on to white or floral corsets worn by the cast as they circled the remarkably beautiful, French renaissance-style symmetrical garden of Drummond Castle. On the morning of the show, the national daily The Scotsman had already put the show on its front page, writing: “the (Dior) collection is under wraps that are pulled tighter than a vintage corset.”
 
Playing on the legacy of Mary Stuart, whose life was divided between France and Scotland, Maria Grazia also commissioned the artist Pollyanna Johnson to create a modern portrait, riffing on the tradition of illustrated ceramics decorated with 16th and 17th century portraiture. 
 
Born in 1542, Mary became Queen of Scotland at the age of six days when her father died suddenly after birth. In 1559, aged just 16 she became queen of France for one year until her husband, King Francis II died of a brain abscess. Returning to Scotland, she quickly became perceived as a threat to the throne of the Protestant Elizabeth I, who had her imprisoned in 1568, spending the 18 years in various prisons before being executed by beheading. 
 
Though Mary’s famed beauty and brains shone rather in this show, with a beautiful evening section of majestic lace gowns, sometimes topped by modern trench coats, or others by Finnish fox blousons.
 
All told, albeit referencing one of history’s most romanticized tragic queens, a younger, edgier, cooler and sexier collection and vision from Dior. And the strongest cruise collection in the world this season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=live

 

 
After eight years at Dior, one wondered what more does Maria Grazia want to say at the house?
 
 “I think I want to do whatever I want,” she laughed, adding: “I am very fortunate – because I can do what I want, meaning work with artisans and artists with whom I want to work. Employ artisans I respect and help support schools for artisans. This is a fundamental reason that I am very happy at Dior.”
 

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