Dior will showcase its cruise 2017 collection on May 31 at Blenheim Palace, just north of Oxford, about an hour’s drive from London. The mansion is where the namesake designer presented his couture creations to the Duchess of Marlborough, the owner of Blenheim, and Princess Margaret in the 1950s.
That much is fact. The rumor mill, however, is gleaning quite a bit more. Sources say Dior could be planning to reveal its new creative director’s first collection. Further, LVMH is thought to have its eye on Jonathan Saunders to fill the top spot, succeeding Raf Simons, who took his last bow in October.
Not exactly hot-tipped for the position, Saunders nonetheless boasts a spotless pedigree. Upon receiving his BA from the Glasgow School of Art and his MA from Central Saint Martins, he began assisting Alexander McQueen, followed by Christian Lacroix at Pucci and Phoebe Philo at Chloé (Philo, now at Celine, is also said to be a Dior contender). Since 2003, the Scot has shown eponymous collections to near-unanimous critical acclaim.
What lends the rumor particular merit is Saunders’ surprise announcement in December that he was shuttering his label, despite a recent investment made by Indian heiress Eiesha Bharti Pasricha less than a year earlier. Thus, according to the (highly fallible) rumor mill, he either already secured Dior or is on the market for a job.