BOOKSMART: Are Dior and Jisoo getting ready to break the internet again? The French fashion house said Friday it is staging its first fashion show in South Korea on April 30, with a side of education to boot.
Dior plans to hold a runway show for Maria Grazia Chiuri’s pre-fall 2022 women’s ready-to-wear collection on the picturesque grounds of Ewha Womans University, a private women’s university in Seoul, founded in 1886, that is one of the world’s largest female educational institutes. The collection was unveiled online in December.
It marks only the second time Dior is presenting its women’s pre-fall line on the runway, following an event in Shanghai last year, and comes as the house is ramping up its schedule of physical displays. In May, it plans to stage its first runway show for the men’s spring line, which is also a pre-collection, in Los Angeles.
As part of its Women@Dior mentoring program, launched in 2017, Dior is partnering with Ewha on educational programs and events designed to inspire and nurture future leaders, and empower women to promote gender equality in the community.
“The house is delighted to be part of creating history in such an energetic and dynamic country, collaborating with the local communities, while showcasing Dior’s visions and core values through a fashion show,” it said in a statement.
Dior has 12 women’s stores in South Korea, including its House of Dior flagship, opened in 2015 in Seoul, and five men’s stores. It has staged a number of exhibitions in the country, and has further ramped up its visibility through its relationship with Jisoo, who last year was named as its new global ambassador for fashion and beauty.
Dior and the Blackpink singer have scored the top social media post during Paris Fashion Week for the last two seasons, according to data and insights firm Launchmetrics. It tallied $1.74 million in media impact value for an Instagram post of the Korean pop star standing under the giant Dior logo at the brand’s fall 2022 fashion show, wearing an outfit reminiscent of a school uniform. — JOELLE DIDERICH
RENEE’S SONG: What to wear for a spring fundraising gala when it still feels like winter in Paris? “A white dress, but with black tights,” Vanessa Seward said, gesturing to her silky Chanel number and poking out a dark leg.
The fashion designer was among the beau monde who piled into the Opéra Garnier Wednesday night to hear Renée Fleming pour out her heart. The American soprano shared the stage with the likes of Lambert Wilson, who acted as narrator; violin virtuoso Renaud Capuçon, and Hugo Marchand and Stéphane Bullion, principal dancers with the Paris Opera Ballet.
The social scene in Paris was in full flower this week, with a massive fundraising dinner for Friends of the Centre Pompidou for 900 people on Tuesday, and the design and art fair Pad setting down in Tuileries for a six-day run.
Seward, who has pivoted to painting and writing, noted she has three works on display at Pad Paris. But she’s dipping a toe back into fashion via a collaboration with Bloom Paris, which exalts fabrics from India.
Fleming looked regal roaming the vast stage by Robert Carsen in a burgundy haute couture gown by Chanel, dazzling with her performance of snippets of Strauss, Wagner and Dvořák.
Alexis Mabille said he designed three dresses for the soprano for an upcoming Imax film, including a gown embroidered with green holographic sequins.
Among those in attendance was James Dyson, whose AirBlade hand dryers are installed in the washrooms of the baroque palace, which opened in 1875. “We’re friends with Robert Carsen and Renée Fleming, so we had to be here,” he said with a smile as he and his wife searched for their table in the gilded Grand Foyer, the setting for many a Stella McCartney runway show.
While not strictly a fashion event, the gala attracted executives Bruno Pavlovsky of Chanel, Siddhartha Shukla of Lanvin, and Schiaparelli’s Delphine Bellini; designers Haider Ackermann and Pierre Hardy, and branding guru Sarah Andelman, who accessorized her Schiaparelli gown with an offbeat earring combining a paper clip and soda pull tab.
The annual event is organized by the Paris Opera’s in-house fundraising arm Arop, with all proceeds from private and corporate donors benefiting the activities of the Paris Opera.
The performances ended on a poignant note with Fleming dedicating her last song “to the people of Ukraine who are suffering.” — MILES SOCHA
NEW IN NEWCASTLE: Long overshadowed by its bigger, splashier rivals Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols, British department store Fenwick is stepping into the limelight as it marks 140 years in business.
To mark the occasion, the family-owned business is investing 40 million pounds over the next five years in the refurbishment of its Newcastle, England, flagship, adding two new atria and renovating the beauty hall and accessories area.
The retailer has already begun work to upgrade the historic facade of the building. The 40 million pounds earmarked for the Newcastle unit are part of a broader program of investment being made by Fenwick at its nine stores across the country, and online.
The architect Ben Mailen has been commissioned to work on the exterior, including new entrances and frontages with open views into the store. He will be working alongside Sybarite, the London architecture and design firm with a client roster that includes SKP, Ferrari and Uniqlo.
Mia Fenwick, marketing and digital director and a member of the founding family, described the Newcastle store as “the heartland of our business.” She said the investment would enable Fenwick “to continue serving the city,” and its future generations.
Fenwick has been a presence in Newcastle since 1882, and the retailer remains one of the oldest founder family-owned businesses operating in the U.K. today.
Fenwick plans to run anniversary events through the end of the year. At the Newcastle store, it is hosting a public exhibition featuring works by Northumbria University fashion students inspired by the retailer’s archive and brand story. It is also opening Cafe 140, a café inspired by the archives.
Across the U.K., Fenwick will be launching exclusive collaborations with designers and brands including Edeline Lee, Rixo, Paul Smith and Palmer Harding.
The retailer has introduced a podcast series titled “The Woman Who…” narrated by the actress Zawe Ashton.
It is meant to highlight women past and present who embody female empowerment. Launched last month, it consists of 10, 10-minute weekly episodes featuring inspirational stories written by the scriptwriter and author Hannah Jewell. — SAMANTHA CONTI
The likes of Jennifer Lopez, actress Tommy Dorfman, TikTok influencer Noah Beck and Jessica Kelly appear in the fashion brand’s “I Got It From My Mom” campaign, which was released on Thursday. The campaign is meant to “celebrate the role mother figures play as mentors, muses and sources of style inspiration,” according to Coach.
“This Mother’s Day, we wanted to recognize all the ways mothers inspire and shape us,” said Sandeep Seth, Coach’s North America brand president and chief marketing officer, in a statement. “We also wanted to celebrate the joy found in the things we pass from one generation to another, and our brand’s role in creating special memories for our customer over the years.”
The campaign is meant to have a nostalgic aesthetic as the celebrities were photographed on a set meant to resemble family rooms. Lopez, who has been a Coach ambassador since 2019, appears alone in her images modeling handbags like the Pillow Tabby and Pillow Madison.
Dorfman appears alongside her mother Cathy Dorfman in matching Coach-monogrammed outfits and the Pillow Madison handbag. Beck also appears in matching looks alongside his mother, Amy Beck.
Kelly, the niece of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, models alongside her daughter, both wearing denim Coach looks and matching monogrammed shoes. — LAYLA ILCHI
Knix, which was founded by Joanna Griffiths in 2013, is a direct-to-consumer brand based in Toronto with an e-commerce business and three stores in Canada.
The company makes bras, shapewear, loungewear, active, sleepwear and maternity clothes including lightweight anti-chafing shorts, wireless bras and leakproof underwear.
“I’m nuts for Knix,” said Betsey Johnson. “I’ve never had so much fun collaborating with a design team who understands Betsey Johnson while being able to create pieces that I myself want to live in everyday.”
“From the tiniest bikini brief to comfy cozy PJ’s and sexy slipdresses — my Knix collection is a complete wardrobe. Wear it under, wear it over. Inside or outside. Simple as that, all you need is Betsey Johnson x Knix to have a little fun this season,” added the designer.
Retail prices will range from $18 to $60. For now, it’s a one-time collaboration, but according to the company, “we’re always open to extending our partnerships, if it’s in the best interest of the brand and our respective partner.”
To accompany the collection’s unusual prints, AR integration with the use of filters is available on Knix’s Instagram channel to give customers the opportunity to bring the world of Betsey Johnson to life. The filters are inspired by the four prints of the collection: Pink Rose Fete, Pretty Kitty, Flutter By and Flower Flourish.
The collection launches April 12 at knix.com and select Knix stores. — LISA LOCKWOOD