Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Couture Week July

Image source: Elle

The value of couture in the digital age has been much debated – it works, after all, at a polar opposite pace to the rest of luxury fashion, which has become so sped up as to see its seasons increasingly merge. But in a fast-paced industry subject to near-constant fashion weeks and the rise of the mid-season collection, Paris Haute Couture Week has retained its sense of occasion.

Paradoxically, for the facet of the industry most dedicated to creating in slow-time, the value of couture for luxury houses is now anchored in instant gratification, too. In a fashion environment that’s inextricable from social media, the bigger the event, the better the buzz.

In Paris, the most traditional and luxurious of houses has also emerged as the most social-media savvy of recent times. Chanel mounted its star-studded online offensive with a fantasy casino set up in the Grand Palais. There, the likes of Julianne Moore, Lara Stone, Kristen Stewart and Lily-Rose Depp (daughter of Vanessa and Johnny and Instagram heroine to teenage girls everywhere) placed their bets on gambling tables. The show, inevitably, hit the social buzz jackpot, enthralling press and followers alike.

Elsewhere during couture week, Giambattista Vali x Mac’s rose-covered Opéra and Dior’s pointillist church made the point that the outside of the show can pack just as much of a social media punch as the inside. What’s more, though Miu Miu has no couture collection of its own, the brand made the schedule work for its own benefit – throwing a disco party to show its Resort 16 collection that doubled up as a launch for its first ever fragrance. For brand-loyal fans, the #MiuMiuClub was a reminder of what youth and fun can do for couture – even without any couture clothes to speak of.

The value of physical events to brands in a social-mediated world is something not lost on many consumer brands: just look at the Super Bowl in the US, where the ad break bonanza resonates across social media like never before. But during a high-fashion institution like Haute Couture Week, the injection of social media value forms an important part of the pushback against minimalism for global brands: as the clothes, event and social media output of houses like Chanel demonstrate, it is still worth gambling on all-out excess.

Reported by Claire Healy

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Dior, Seoul
Image source: Dior, Seoul

In a bid to strengthen its influence in the Asian market, French luxury fashion house Dior has opened its latest flagship in Seoul’s affluent Cheongdam-dong shopping district. This will allow the brand to tap into South Korea’s $8.3bn luxury market, now ranked as the third largest luxury market in Asia behind China and Japan.

Designed by French architect Christian de Portzamparc, the six-storey building – which is already becoming a local landmark thanks to its curvaceous, bright white façade – is the brand’s largest flagship in Asia to date. The elegant interiors take design cues from the brand’s iconic Montaigne flagship in Paris and mix traditionally luxurious materials such as leathers and wood with high-gloss and textural surfaces. The interiors were overseen by NY-based architect Peter Marino – the man behind the flagships of sister brand Louis Vuitton.

To enrich the in-store experience and show off all aspects of its brand personality, Dior has opted for a hybridised store concept that brings retail, hospitality and culture all under one roof. The top floor boasts the Dior Café, helmed by French pastry chef Pierre Hermé, while the lower floors feature a Palace of Versailles-inspired VIP lounge and a gallery, as well as housing the brand’s full collection of products including bags, shoes, watches, jewellery and ready-to-wear. A separate menswear department is located in the basement.

The launch is accompanied by an exhibition at Seoul’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza dubbed Esprit Dior, which showcases Dior’s designs, both historic and current, alongside collaborations with Korean artists such as Lee Bul (who also designed a crystal, glass and aluminium installation for the Seoul flagship).

Guest post Stylus.com by Marta PodeszwaKatie Baron


“Lights, camera, fashion.Fashionistas and designers flocked to Merkin Concert Hall Tuesday night for the sixth annual Fashion 2.0 Awards to recognize fashion brands such as Marc Jacobs and Dior for their innovative use of social media.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Dior x Marc Jabos

“Dior’s Tokyo pre-fall event represents an emerging strategy by the great Parisian fashion houses to retain status by detaching themselves from the decline of France, and reposition themselves as global brands.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Christian Dior in Tokyo


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