Dior is not bringing its runway show to Los Angeles after all.
The French fashion powerhouse announced in January that it would stage its Cruise show in Los Angeles on May 9, kicking off momentum in the celeb-filled fashion market that culminated in several other high-profile luxury brand announcements—Tom Ford bringing his runway show to L.A. on Feb. 20, Burberry hosting a party and runway show at Griffith Observatory on April 16, and Louis Vuitton staging its Cruise show in Palm Springs on May 6.
But on Wednesday, a Dior representative confirmed that the brand has decided to stage its Cruise show on May 11 in the French Riviera near Cannes instead. The reason? The unexpected availability of a high-profile location, she said.
It’s an interesting turn-about, especially considering that Dior and Louis Vuitton (which only announced the Palm Springs plan last week) are both brands in the portfolio of luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH).
Could it be that Vuitton -- and designer Nicolas Ghesquiere’s more casual jeans, miniskirt and T-shirt aesthetic -- are a better fit for SoCal? And Dior, which is rooted in haute couture, is a better fit for the glittery international crowd, who will be in Cannes for the annual film festival from May 13 to 24?
Cannes has certainly been Dior’s game to lose for several years running now, with Raf Simons dressing dozens of leading ladies for the festival’s red carpets, including brand ambassadors Jennifer Lawrence, Marion Cotillard and Jessica Biel, and landing them on international best dressed lists. In 2014, the house hosted its Cruise show up the coast in Monaco, drawing even more attention to Simons’ new look.
It’s hard to conceive of Dior giving up that kind of spotlight, especially this year, when fashion competition at the festival is going to be even more fierce, now that Gucci and Saint Laurent parent company Kering have a five-year strategic partnership with the festival to host events with well-dressed celebs. In other words, Dior and LVMH need to bring out all they’ve got or risk being overshadowed.
Maybe that’s reading too much into it, but maybe not. At any rate, I’m disappointed we won’t be seeing Simons and Dior in L.A., but looking forward to seeing what Ghesquiere cooks up in Palm Springs.