Lady Dior: when literature shapes fashion

I had a feeling my Links of London post wouldn’t be the last LFW ad to grace this blog.

Flipping through the FT‘s fashion special of its weekly portion of riches, How to Spend It last weekend, I was again savouring all the luxury brand creatives as much as (if not more than) the editorial pieces between. Typical marketer I guess.

In the opening spread, the enviable elegance of the magnifique Marion Cotillard seeped from the Dior pages. But this time it was the choice of prop that caught my eye.

© Dior / FT
© Dior / FT

Granted, the striking red and black contrast of the composition called for a book jacket of the same – peeping out of Cotillard’s arm candy to add a subtle hint of literary culture to her undeniable beauty. But was Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye the only one the stylist could lay her hands on? Or was there something deeper that informed the choice?

I noticed it because Catcher happens to be one of my top three books of all time. The intensely human centre of the narrative has made it one the preeminent novels of the twentieth century. Perhaps the implication is that, like the book, Lady Dior and her purse of choice are truly iconic. So was it chance that the Penguin cover design happened to fit so sharply into Dior’s latest creative?

© Dior / FT
© Dior / FT

Either which way, the choice was interesting. While high fashion houses like Dior spend hundreds of thousands on advertising creatives inventing a luxury world which its audience buys into (the classic, ‘buy the lifestyle not just the product’), essentially they do need to shift sales. When said product is included in shot, you can bank on every effort having been made to draw your attention to it.

Does the bag have the same presence of focus in the image with the book removed?

Dior minus catcher

Thus, arguably, in this particular composition, Catcher has a greater starring role than Cotillard.

But for those more interested in the bag than its contents, you can snap up the ‘Le 30’ black lambskin leather number with ‘Cannage’ embroidery for a mere £1,550 from now. Random fact? The Le 30 range owes its name to the number 30 in Christian Dior’s Avenue de Montaigne address.

My favourite? Well, it has to be the pink really doesn’t it. And just a snip at £1,290:


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