Night & Day, Dior is the one

The Cannes Film Festival and the House of Dior have a historical link, both launched in 1946. Although there had been a Film Festival in Cannes in 1939, the festival as we know it today was established in 1946, just as although the first Christian Dior collection was shown in January 1947 the house had been established the year before. 

It seems fitting therefore that dressing stars at every hour of the day, is covered by the Dior team. That means everything from a lunchtime interview through to the red carpet and those twenty-four steps to the Palais des Festival.

The New Look of 1947 featured for daywear the famous curvy tailored jacket “Bar” worn with a full pleated skirt. Yseult wore a reinterpretation of this top to toe Dior signature, complete with a Stephen Jones version of the original hat and neat black gloves and a classic court shoe. Pure white instead of the original ivory with the black skirt and accessories created a Rene Gruau graphic impact when seen against the red-carpet. Valerie Donzelli opted for a finely printed silk afternoon dress with a ruffled neck, soft puffed sleeves, and a swaying skirt. Elsa Boublil looked daytime into dinner chic in a neat black look, the softly draped semi sheer top was paired with a clean A line skirt. For cocktail into evening Zhao Tao slips into an embroidered tulle blouse and draped skirt with Jardin thread, tassels and sparkles embroidered onto celadon moiré. Both the fabric and green are Monsieur Dior favourites, and the “ballerina” length skirt is the perfect balance for understated elegance. The exquisite embroidery, all 350 hours of it, was by Lesage. Alex Rivière also bridged day to night in a simple strapless black cotton dress with a fitted bodice and a beautiful full but understated floor length skirt. 

Yseult was dressed in Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri. Image by Dior
Alex Riviere was dressed in Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri. Make up by Dior.
She wore a Dior black cotton bustier dress. She also wore Dior shoes. Image by Dior

The extraordinary Meryl Streep looks the personification of the relaxed and timeless elegance in a blanc cassé wrap, floor length silk evening gown with bracelet length sleeves and a soft drape. In image after image, the flow and ease of the dress really shows understatement and brilliant craft hand in hand. Juliette Binoche in deep scarlet silk faille, had all the hallmarks of red carpet; draped off the shoulder, slim skirt with bustle over-sweep and slender sleeves, it’s drama without vulgarity. It is also a hommage to the black Frac dress from the winter 1949 collection, Camille Cottin wore deepest forest green velvet in long fluid lines, it’s softly draped neck high at the front, contrasting with the plunging bare back. Emilie Dequenne was in a softly plisse bronze, green silk dress gently moving in the breeze and cut into a gentle trapeze shape.

Juliette Binoche wore a Dior haute couture dress in red silk faille with a large décolleté. Inspired by the FRAC dress of winter 1949. Image by Dior

It is obvious from all these looks that Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri and the Cannes Film Festival are the perfect match. Then comes Anna Taylor Joy in a champagne-coloured crystal ball gown and the Dior dream floats, like Cinderella, across the stairs and captures the couture moment. The final word though rests with a micro short halter dress she wore later that night, literally constructed from rows of black jet bead fringe with above elbow length gloves embellished with matching fringe. I immediately thought of Sweet Charity and the amazing club dance scenes created by Bob Fosse and Edith Head. 

Since 1947 to today, 2024 Dior has expanded the name into many creative areas and at Cannes they were out in force, including menswear and beauty. Maria Grazia follows the house traditions of being able to fulfil all wardrobe requirements from minimal to maximalist, and the teams surrounding her, as in the production of a movie, bring in crafts and skills to realise creative magic. As in the movies the mood can range from intellectual art house to entertaining blockbuster. 

It was fascinating to see how the Dior expertise has such diversity of inspiration. Cannes requires its guests to be on show from morning to night, and Dior provides the answers. Performing isn’t just on screen at the Cannes film festival, it’s for the cameras and the crowds, of course for social media; Maria Grazia Chiuri and the amazing team at Dior understands this perfectly and offers their own award-winning fashion performance.

To continue our Cannes and Dior story it must be noted that Kim Jones has been as busy with Dior menswear as Maria Grazia has been with womenswear, he dressed the following gentlemen, amongst others, during the Cannes days.

Raphaël Quenard, Louis Garrel, Félix Kysyl, François Ozon, Matt Dillon Baptiste Giabiconi, Pierfrancesco Fabiano, Antoine Reinartz. Saul Nanni, Mamoudou Athie Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel, Hugo Gelin, and Oliver Stone 

I’ve also lost count of the number of people,  I’ve been informed by the press office; who the Dior makeup and beauty team also worked on. This must be creatives working from dawn to dusk since Cannes is an all day round event. Through skin care, beauty, and make up they are helping many look their best, a vital addition to the red carpet. Please also note that Greta Gerwig, Nelly Auteuil, Rebecca Lambert, Laetitia Dosch, Mina Kavani and Mallory Wanecque wore Dior to attend the festival, to add to the ever-growing list. Emmanuelle Béart looked fabulous in a draped variation of a man’s shirt, with full sleeves, French cuffs and a cut away collar, teamed with very wide high waisted wool and silk pants; maximum style impact in a reinterpretation of. Marlene Dietrich style. Marie Patouillet wore a Dior biker jacket over a pleated and printed silk dress in nude and black, Valeria Golino selected a floor length vest dress in softest embroidered black velvet and Nicole Garcia looked immaculate in a severe black wool skirt and silk Bar jacket; a one hundred percent classic Dior New Look updated for 2024. Meanwhile, during the continuing, premiers and events we saw Bebe Vio in a floor length slender silk dress embroidered with shimmering architectural lines, Souheila Yacoub in a smart masculine inspired monochrome suit, worn with a shirt and tie and,Maïmouna Doucouréwore in an exquisite black tulle couture dress smothered in black filigree embroidery and the tiniest of sparkles. These three showing perfectly the Dior creative brilliance in understanding the different personalities and occasions requirements. 

Stop Press Wednesday 21st May 2024 

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