Dior’s Love Chain campaign links to a new era

Charity campaign marks a change in direction for the brand

Bella Hadid is part of the Dior Love Chain. Courtesy Dior
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What would you do for love? That is the question Christian Dior asked when it launched its first ever charity initiative on August 27, entitled Dior Love Chain.

Brand ambassadors Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Robert Pattison and Charlize Theron were all quizzed on what they would do, as were Johnny Depp, Bella Hadid, Camille Rowe and Eva Herzigova, and their answers were crafted into a black-and-white short film.

It's not a rhetorical question, because anyone can put their answer forward and help make the Love Chain longer, by recording a video of themselves proclaiming what they would do for love, and posting it on social media channels with the hashtag #diorlovechain.

For every post, Dior has pledged to donate US$1 (Dh3.6) to the WE Charity in Canada (previously known as Free the Children) to support initiatives in Kenya that provide education for young girls.

The charity drive is part of the relaunch of one of the house's most iconic fragrances, Miss Dior, which has a history steeped in love. The scent was launched in 1947 by Christian Dior himself, and the famed couturier gave strict instructions to his chosen perfumers to "create a fragrance that is like love".

This year, the fragrance has ­undergone a renaissance, under the guidance of Dior's new creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri. As the first woman to head up the house, Chiuri has steadily moved it away from its traditional stance of delicate femininity, and repositioned it at the vanguard of strident, vocal womanhood.

Since her debut for Dior in January this year, Chiuri has stripped away all the adornments that have been associated with Dior of late. Gone are the demure day dresses and saccharine-pretty looks, replaced instead with functional denim wear and knuckleduster rings. She has placed feminism front and centre at Paris Fashion Week, making bold and fearless women the focus of Dior once again. For her most recent haute couture collection, Chiuri drew inspiration from female explorers from the Victorian era,as well as the pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart.

Spearheading a cultural shift throughout the house, the codes she has instilled in couture are trickling down to every aspect of Dior. Clothing has embraced the chic practicality of belted coats, while accessories have evolved from tottering heels to comfortable (and covetable) kitten-heeled sling-backs.

Natalie Portman is still the face of Miss Dior, but she now clutches a bottle that carries the same typography as the fashion house's new T-shirts. The bottle's signature bow detail is no longer in childish metal, but instead is half undone, tied the way you would a trench coat. The juice inside still has a heart of feminine rose, but has been refreshed with top notes of spice and citrus. Chic, practical and of the moment, the new Miss Dior is bold and audacious, much like Chiuri.

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