Autumn/Winter, Beauty, Christian Dior, Designer Clustering, Fashion Promotion, Raf Simons

Autumn/Winter 2014-15

This year, Dior looked very deeply into the traditional focus of Autumn/Winter; looking into colours, materials, and elements of the holiday which all of the audience can relate to; which lead to fur, white outfits and a lot of long, draped materials. This season Dior used bold colours to represent the silhouettes of city workers, as he wanted the women to be seen completely equal with men – each form was echoed in traditional masculine fabrics. Peak lapels, double breasting and horn buttons take the place of more traditional elements of the feminine tailor. This is one of my favourite collections of the Autumn/Winter Dior range, and has been praised by all, the incredible and beautifully created garments are just stunning; Raf Simons has yet again made an unforgettable collection.

“I wanted to approach the idea of the city as an abstraction, it is how I perceive the world of the city in this collection,” says Raf Simons. “It is an idea of the romantic and the real, a world of possibilities. At the same time I wanted to present women with freedom and possibilities in the way they dress too.”

http://www.dior.com/diortv/en_gb/videos/fashion-shows/haute-couture-autumn-winter-2014-15-fashion-show

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Chanel, Christian Dior, Competitors, Covent Carden, Designer Clustering, Fashion Promotion

The FINAL clustering

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Within the UK, there is only 1 remaining piece of Art Nouveau Sculpture, which is the middle of Piccadilly Circus – Eros, the statue of love. Carnaby street which is a short walk away in the 1960’s used to a very unique little boutique street, however it has now become very much the same as other shopping streets within London. However, Newburgh Street was the first street to be the Alternative London Fashion Week, here you can find so many interesting and one off shops which is why it has made its name on the map over the years – which is were Mac, Liberty and many other shops live. 

However, the final part of the trip leads me to Covent Garden, home of so many luxury shops and fashion clusters; but most importantly it is one of the areas where you will find Chanel and Dior right next to each other. This placement did not happy by accident, right opposite the main square, it is a prime location for the two Haute Couture giants. Though this is where you will also find Apple, one of the biggest in London, which is very important to note as there is not a large push between technology and fashion – which is what has been promoted and publicised on this years Apprentice. The Dior shop was so incredible to visit, and the staff where incredibly informative, telling us about the life of Dior, and how the company works. Dior in Covent Garden in a beauty boutique, and the first in London when the company expanded from Paris; which is why this store in particular is vital to the understanding of Dior.

Throughout this walk, I learnt so much about the store placements, why and how the stores are categorised and very strategically placed to help the consumer become tempted by more than they set out to look at. This is a vital part of the fashion industry, and clustering takes a very long time to perfect, as this is so key to the way the brand is viewed, and by who. This walk was incredibly useful for my knowledge, and taught me an awful lot about London, as well as the Designer Clusters.

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Christian Dior, Competitors, Designer Clustering, Fashion Hierarchy, Fashion Promotion, Haute Couture

Store Placements

IMG_3042Next I headed to the home of Madame De Pompadour’s home, the mistress of Louis XIV; now home to the Wallace Collection which is a house which burst of Paris, from the huge staircase to the ‘Gold Room’, it not only developed my understanding of Vivienne Westwood’s inspirations for a lot of her designs, but it made me incredibly excited for Paris; which was exactly one month on Sunday! Around the Wallace exhibition is home to a lot of wealthy Londoners, which suits the exhibition perfectly. 

Walking back along Oxford Street, we now walked the entire street of Bond Street; both old and new. This was one of the main sections of the whole day which really stood out to be, and made an impact on my understanding of the placement within the fashion clustering. Old Bond Street is full of luxury fashion houses, such as Tiffany, Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton. Like Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton has tried to create a unique experience for the customers, and another unique selling point to the brand. This store has been redesigned to feel like you, as the consumer, are inside a jewellery box! This strange idea, is actually incredibly effective, as the tall ceilings and the sectioned store allows the store to have something extra in comparison. However, there is one more important factor which I noticed about Bond Street, There is a large Chanel store opposite to Vuitton, however, there is now a Dior being built right next door to Chanel; this push of competitiveness is key to keeping up to date with what the other is planning, and will help both to develop and continue to cluster together to re-enforce their position amongst rivals.

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Beauty Boutique, Christian Dior, Competitors, Designer Clustering, Fashion Promotion, Haute Couture

Mayfair to Regent Street

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Mayfair is now the new fashion area in London, especially down Mount Street, where Balenciaga can now be found, along side Marc Jacobs and Celine. After many articles about Balenciaga in particular, I though it only right to have a little visit inside; not only is the brand very passionate about Luxury, but it has created a very unique changing room – the hexagonal shape was covered in mirrors, with cushions and a very simplistic yet large changing space – which for some reason reminded me of a space ship shape! This unique selling point for the brand increases the awareness as the store has something extra for the customers; which is keys within the competitive market. 

Just off from Mount Street, you can find South Audley St – which is the next sub section of London to be colonised by fashion itself. A shop which I have been to visit on many occasions is Thomas Goode, where you will find the most beautiful and exotic flowers in all of London. The whole shop is split into many different sections, ceramics, books and 2 large elephants in the window, which are now insured for £1 million each! This alone tells you a lot about the price tags of products within Thomas Goode, though each product is so personal and created to the highest standard. Along from here, and heading towards Grosvenor Square you can find Browns – which was who put John Galliano a place within the fashion industry, pushing Dior forward. As well as Issey Miyake and the Mrs Bernstein boutique.

Next, I headed to the home of British Vogue – Hanover Square, which is where the Conde Nast newsagent and Vogue house itself can be found; which is in fact where you can find all of the global titles ever published by Conde Nast. This was one of the main attractions of ‘Vogue’s Night Out’, and is somewhere that I can remember visiting time after time. 

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Christian Dior, Competitors, Designer Clustering, Fashion, Fashion Hierarchy, Fashion Promotion, London

DESIGNER CLUSTERING

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Despite the wet and windy weather on Monday, I headed out at 9am to gain a true understanding on where shops are placed within central London; looking and individual brands and their key locations. How fashion brands create a visual presence on the hughstreet and the shopping districts; creating a strong and well developed awareness of the market level clusterings. In particular, I was focusing on Dior and the way the company had presented themselves to the audiences, and how they enticed their target market in competition with other big brands. 

To start the exercise off, I started at Oxford Circus, making my way to Conduit St, which is where a lot of luxury brands are found – Vivienne Westwood, Donna Karan, Moschino, and most importantly Sketch – which is the original show room in London that Dior used to use; a lot of presence of the Dior company still lies there, and the feel of the brand is very much still present. Down this hughstreet is one of many Dior stores; this one predominately selling shoes and bags – which allowed me to explore the new Diorissimo bags for the first time. Then onto Saville Row – the home of tailoring in London, and where Henry Poole & Co and Norton & Sons can be found; all lined up offering something different with their tailoring. Each and every store looked sophisticated and well thought out – which is vital in that particular section of the fashion market. What was also very interesting is that I was able to watch a lot of adjustments and actual tailoring take place, as the lower level of the shop was visible from the street; letting the customers have a more personal experience with the individual store. 

With this close knit shopping sector, there are many different classes of shops; Haute Couture all the way to Economy, which was very interesting to look at the precise grouping and classes and where each shop was placed within the market. Stella McCartney is several doors down from the famous Hartnell Gallery, which sat right next to Matthew Williamson; this close connection between the shops is a clear grouping of the Brand Diffusion market. The hierarchy of fashion is something that is taken very seriously, and walking along Bond Street, Mayfair, Oxford street and even Conduit Street, it is very easy to identify the target audience for that particular street – a very in-depth and personal shopping experience.

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