Not so long ago, the smart money was on the imminent demise of the fashion show. Digital formats were considered the way forward. Why fly from New York to Paris when you could watch the Viktor & Rolf show in bed?
In fact, the reverse has happened. Shows are proliferating. Last week, Chanel in Salzburg. This week, at 8.30 pm on Thursday, Tokyo time, Dior, that most quintessential of French labels, took to the catwalk of Japan’s capital. Not just any catwalk, but a vast round stage in an arena more used to hosting sumo wrestling.
It was one of the biggest audiences for a fashion show I’ve seen – and an intricate feat of organization for a house that until recently always showed in – where else? – Paris.
Entitled Esprit Dior Tokyo 2015, this is Dior’s pre-fall collection, not to be confused with the summer and winter collections, which still take place in Paris. It means that Dior’s creative director, Raf Simons, must design six collections a year, excluding men’s. That’s a hefty work-load, but not exceptional for designers at today’s biggest brands. Shows, it seems, sell merchandise. “Don’t believe everything you read about the Japanese economy,” said Sidney Toledano, Dior’s president and CEO, after the show. “They may be worried about the government’s debt but they have a lot of savings personally, and they appreciate quality. Dior is doing extremely well in Japan.” Read more