The must-have shoe of the moment is the humble sneaker, and Dior’s Dior Fusion sneaker elevates this utilitarian item to couture levels with its glamourous makeover. By Daniel Goh
Now that sneakers can be worn with just about anything in your closet, lending any ensemble an air of sporty youthfulness, here’s the one sneaker that takes this must-have accessory from the streets to the couture salon – quite literally! With a flourish, we present you the Dior Fusion sneaker, the sneaker to end all sneaker fetishes. These are serious haute couture kicks: After all, they made their debut this year at the Dior Spring Couture runway in January, and have swiftly become a coveted accessory for the blog-and-Instagram-obsessed fashion set. With such a distinctive aesthetic, these instantly recognizable sneakers were designed by Dior’s artistic director Raf Simons, and carries all his design hallmarks, including a contrarian modernity, an incisive elegance and a quirky femininity. The modernity comes from the innovative structure and the futuristic technology combined with the old-school crafts of the haute couture. The beautiful hand-sewn floral embroidery sequins are attached to a hi-tech mesh and represent nothing so much as a clash of different eras; the molded rubber soles are spring this style from the salon to the street in one athletic leap.
What’s delightful is that these sneakers are lightweight and yet durable and there’s a certain ballet pump-neatness to its compact appearance, giving it a dainty, rather than jock-ish vibe. The storied House of Dior bills these sneakers as the perfect balance between couture and practicality, and notes that the floral motifs are a nod to the couturier Christian Dior's penchant for gardens and blooms. The Dior Fusion expresses the current fashion ideology, with this era’s contribution to fashion history being the “mash-up”: Of periods, of genres, of styles and cultures. These sneakers represent this mash-up in its combination of casual running shoes and polished evening shoes, between couture and street.
“Decorative and extremely feminine,” Simons had said of the Spring 2014 Couture collection, and he might as well be speaking about the Dior Fusion, “I hope women can wear these fashion with freedom, and that they will choose to wear these designs their own way, rather than put false ‘fashion attitude’. The reality of the customer is that you can naturally and casually wear Haute.”
BOX STORY: MAKING OF DIOR FUSION
Dior Fusion sneakers are inspired by the ubiquitous running shoes but re-fashioned with bold innovation. The laces of the sports shoe are removed, and this element takes the “slip on” (sliding) design, so wearing it feels more luxuriously convenient and easy. The Dior Fusion has a more rounded, stylish shape, and are seamless and comfortable. These are true high-tech running shoes made with high-performance fabrics. The soles are composed of four substrates, giving it a more reliable quality and a lighter texture.
Dior Fusion comes from the brand's couture heritage, and features clever embellishments such as ribbons, bows and unique couture embroidery elements; The designs come in a range of cleverly interesting colour combinations, sometimes with bold collision of colour, sometimes blending the same colour, or colours in a perfect match, making an elegant and joyful kaleidoscope for your feet.