The location for last night's Dior Cruise 2014 show was the stunning Promenade Casiraghi in Monte Carlo. This location wasn't just a happy accident: the fashion house has a long standing relationship with the achingly chic Principality of Monaco.
During his life Christian Dior dreamed of dressing princesses. One princess in particular was close to the designer's heart: the legendary Grace Kelly. She chose to wear a Dior gown for the announcement of her engagement to Prince Rainier of Monaco and continued to be dressed by the designer throughout her life, wearing countless Dior gowns to balls and also when she was expecting her daughter, Caroline.
Dior pieces from the archive worn by Grace Kelly
After the designer's death, Princess Grace was loyal to the fashion house so it's only fitting that the reining royalty Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene carries on the relationship with the house's current designer Raf Simons.
Grazia were invited to this exclusive show and even though the heavens opened and the planned open-sided venue had to be sealed against the elements, the dramatic sky served Simons' modern collection well.
Stormy Monaco - and a ray of Dior sunshine
Guests were ushered under umbrellas along (squelching) dove grey carpets to take their seats - including Liv Tyler and Jessica Biel, who were no doubt in town for the neighbouring Cannes film festival. Both Princess Charlene and her husband Prince Albert of Monaco added more glamour still to the FROW.
Raf Simon's staggering set
As models marched along the stormy landscape, Simons' love affair with fabric was evident. The designer worked with lace for the first time. In his hands it was embroidered, printed, bonded and glazed for an overall effect which was more sci-fi than pretty.
With a sportier feel than the designer's collections for Dior to date, this summery cruise show featured embellished crop tops, lightweight jackets which fell around the calves and fell open to reveal big metallic knickers underneath, as well as sheer dresses in patchwork patterns. Zips and asymmetric hems also had their rightful place.
Models wearing the collection at the afterparty
After the show, Simons explained that the collection was aerodynamic and went on to reveal that he had relaxed the label's famed 'bar' jacket: it looked less structured and more rounded. To sum up, this confirmed once again that he is the man who can make old new, and surely fit for a modern day princess.
By Gemma Hayward