While Dior has yet to name a replacement for Raf Simons, the French house announced earlier today via Vogue UK that its spring/summer 2017 cruise collection — the first to be designed by Simons's successor as opposed to the in-house team — will take place on May 31 at the historic Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England, the principal residence of the Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of Winston Churchill.
The French label has shown collections at Blenheim Palace not once, but twice in the past — first in 1954 and a second time in 1958 under Yves Saint Laurent, with Princess Margaret in attendance at both shows.
It's a sharp contrast from last year's cruise 2016 show at the multilevel, bubble-shaped Le Palais Bulles on the French Riviera, where Simons presented a playful, forward-looking collection that still referenced Dior's archive. But given the transitional period the house is in, the decision to return is a thoughtful and perhaps reassuring choice, especially following less-than-stellar reviews of Dior's haute couture spring 2016 collection by longtime Dior designers Serge Ruffieux and Lucie Meier. Plus, who doesn't love a full circle moment?
We've reached out to Dior and will update with any further details.