Dior Fall 2022: The catwalk show hosts South Korea for the first time

Wrote Oscar Holland, CNN

Dior hosted a fashion show in South Korea for the first time on Saturday, presenting its latest collection to a star audience in Seoul.

The French fashion giant transformed the prestigious Ewha Womans University into a runway, dropping skateboarders down a sloping central ramp before models appeared in waves of yellow plaid, sheer tulle and pleated outerwear. The brand is also a partner with the university as part of the Women @ Dior mentoring and educational program.

Under the supervision of Dior’s creative director Marie Grazia Chiuri, the women’s clothing collection of this label for autumn 2022 has given a contemporary twist to uniforms. The looks were often complemented by blouses and ties, while short skirts and biker shorts contributed to what the brand described in a press release as a “punk undertone”.
The models pose in Dior's latest collection.

The models pose in Dior’s latest collection. credit: Choi Na Rang / Dior

Among the celebrities was the singer Blackpinka Jisoo, who has been Dior’s global ambassador since last year. K-pop stars were joined at the event by a variety of other stars, including figure skater Kim Yun and Korean-American rapper Jay Park.

The show signals the growing importance of South Korea for the French fashion house, which has described the event since the weekend as “unprecedented”. In a statement before the show, Christian Dior Couture chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari said the label was “forging new powerful ties” with the country.

Jisoo from Blackpink was one of the few celebrities present.

Jisoo from Blackpink was one of the few celebrities present. credit: Myunggu Han / Dior / Getty Images

Dior’s website lists nearly 25 boutiques across South Korea, including seven in Seoul’s exclusive Gangnam district. Its flagship store, designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc, opened in the capital in 2015.

On Sunday, shortly after the fashion show, the label opened a large new concept store in the modern district of Seongsu-dong of the capital. Inspired by the brand’s headquarters in Paris, the spacious outdoor boutique has a garden and living room, with furniture by various Korean designers.

Luxury power plant

Dior is not the first European fashion house to organize events in South Korea, as other Asian destinations – China, above all – are proving difficult to work amid the Covid-19 restrictions. Louis Vuitton, for example, presented his men’s Fall-Winter 2021 collection in an art space outside of Seoul. One of the last shows overseen by the late creative director of the publishing house Virgil Abloh, was the K-pop mega band BTS, which signed a contract as an ambassador for Louis Vuitton earlier this year.

A look from Dior's collection for autumn 2022.

A look from Dior’s collection for autumn 2022. credit: Dior

The show gave a punk twist on the topic of uniforms.

The show gave a punk twist on the topic of uniforms. credit: Dior

Several other publishers have asked to name South Korean stars as brand ambassadors, and Gucci, Loewe, Givenchy, Chanel, Prada and Alexander McQueen among those who have reported K-pop singers, movie stars or both in recent years.

Jisoo’s colleagues from the Blackpink band have teamed up with major luxury brands, with Rosé, the face of Saint Laurent and Tiffany & Co., Lisa represents Celine and Bulgari and Jennie working with Chanel and Calvin Klein. Louis Vuitton’s women’s clothing department, meanwhile, is working with “Squid Game” star Ho-yeon Jung.

While many Asian markets are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, luxury consumption in South Korea is bounced back to the level of 2019, according to the consulting company Bain & Company. A study on the world market for luxury goods from 2021 stated that Korean buyers who decided to buy at home, and not abroad, “more than compensated for the lack of tourism” in the country.
South Korea is now seventh in size luxury goods market in the world, according to research by Euromonitor.

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