It’s tartans and thistles at Dior’s first show in Scotland in seven decades

The French fashion house’s Cruise 2025 catwalk show drew in A-list stars such as Jennifer Lawrence and Anya Taylor-Joy.

Utter the word “fashion,” and places like Paris, Milan, and New York would easily come to mind. Scotland, most likely, won’t be one of them.

But French fashion house Christian Dior paid tribute to this country, known for its sweeping views and dramatic landscapes, with a catwalk show in a Perthshire castle last Monday, June 3. Teeming with tartan designs and thistle motifs, the Cruise 2025 event is Dior’s first in Scotland in nearly seven decades. The last time the luxury brand had a show in the country was in 1955 at the nearby Gleneagles Hotel.

Jacobean black velvet and wading gaiters took centerstage in the show.
Photo from Getty Images
Photo by Lesley Martin/Reuters

A-list celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Rosamund Pike, Anya Taylor-Joy, and former Spice Girl Gerri Halliwell, descended upon the charming gardens of Drummond Castle in central Scotland for the show, where designer Maria Grazia Chiuri “peppered kilts for the womenswear line with some punk nods,” according to a report on Reuters

In true Scottish fashion, the show started with bagpipes, as per an article on The Guardian. It added that the ghost of Vivienne Westwood loomed over the show, along with that of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The venue is considered by many to be the “Versailles of Scotland” and was used as the set for the French palace gardens in the TV series Outlander. It’s no surprise then that Chiuri was inspired by the location, playing with a palette of yellows, purples, and greens which she borrowed from the landscape she described as “cinematic.”

The statuesque models wore an array of asymmetric tartan dresses, cropped and belted jackets, shorts and corsets, as well argyle knits, capes and lace or velvet frocks varying in length and volume.

Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri said the collection was inspired by the history of its Scottish location. Photo from The Guardian

Some of the Rome-born fashion designer’s pieces bore fringes, embroidered thistle motifs, and even a map of Scotland. Voluminous layered bodice dresses seemed to pay homage to Tudor styles, while there were also armor-like short frocks, a nod to Scotland’s sometimes bloody history.

The looks were accessorized with chunky black boots, long black gloves, and chokers with studded with pearls. A white shirt tucked under a white corset was festooned with embroidered words in red, including “fierce,” “hysterical,” “emotional,” and “bossy,” terms usually used to insult women.

A model wears an outfit with the words such as “fierce, moody, emotional, difficult, nag, hysterical, feisty, and ‘bossy, embroidered in gothic script. Photo from AFP/Getty Images

“Scotland is an important reference in the fashion world and I wanted to interpret it in a different way,” Chiuri told fashion magazine Vogue ahead of the show. “For my generation, it’s so associated with punk, but there is another way to go into it, and that’s through the textiles.”

Chiuri, who is the creative director at Dior, said she also drew inspiration from a book about Mary, Queen of Scots and her embroidery work. 

The embroidered words are often used to insult women. Photo from BBC

The 60-year-old had previously worked with Scottish fabric makers including Harris Tweed and Johnstons of Elgin. For the show, Chiuri, who often works with female collaborators, teamed up with Scottish designer Samantha McCoach of the brand Le Kilt to develop her designer pocketed kilts.

Cruise or resort collections produced by stylists in addition to twice-yearly seasonal collections are often held in different cities or countries.

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