“THIS IS SO SPECIAL”
AS THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA PREPARES TO UNVEIL A LANDMARK NEW CHRISTIAN DIOR EXHIBITION, JESINTA FRANKLIN MODELS SOME OF THE FASHION HOUSE’S LATEST LOOKS AND TALKS ABOUT LIFE AS A NEWLYWED
Ahead of a new exhibition celebrating 70 years of Christian Dior, newlywed Jesinta Franklin reveals a personal connection to the fashion house.
The shoot has wrapped, the clothes – all off-the-runway Dior – are being carefully packed away and the photographer’s assistants are winding up the extension cords. But model Jesinta Franklin is not quite ready to change out of the patterned jumper and suede pants she is wearing.
“With designers like Dior, you just feel the quality the minute you put the clothes on,” Franklin, 25, tells Stellar as she comfortably lounges in the Bridal Suite on Level 7 of David Jones’s Sydney store. “It’s so beautiful. Hence why I’m sitting here and refusing to change into my normal clothes. Everything is getting wheeled out and I’m like, ‘See ya!’”
Wearing head-to-toe Christian Dior for Stellar’s fashion shoot is a career milestone for the Gold Coast-born Franklin, and a sign her transformation from pageant girl (she found fame as Miss Universe Australia in 2010) to top model is complete. “It’s a very prestigious brand and they don’t do things willy-nilly,” she says. “They don’t just dress anyone. They are the top of the fashion chain. So to be able to wear their clothes for this is pretty special.”cial.”
The shoot coincides with a historic moment for the brand – and David Jones. It has been 70 years since the e French fashion house introduced thehe world to deeply feminine haute coutureuture and the mastery of founder Christian Dior with its New Look
collection. On August 27, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) presents the world-first exhibition The House Of Dior: Seventy Years Of Haute Couture in celebration of the label, its designers (including current and first female head Maria Grazia Chiuri) and its early connection with Australia.
Remarkably, the first complete Dior show staged outside of Paris in 1948 took place not in London, nor in New York. It occurred in Sydney, right here on Level 7.
“It’s incredible to think Australia was one of the first places internationally to recognise the genius of Dior,” says NGV curator Katie Somerville. “[But] there is a freedom in thinking that Australians possess – like, ‘Why don’t I ask Dior to send 50 pieces to Australia?’” The special relationship between the two made the NGV a natural home for the exhibition, which Somerville reveals “has been over three-and-a-half years in the making. We’ve been lucky enough to have the full support of the House of Dior, who allowed us to borrow from their archive.”
In a world of fast fashion, Dior’s longevity inspires Franklin, who is also
a David Jones ambassador. “It comes down to being classic – something that lasts through the ages,” she says. The clothes she is wearing for this shoot are not just for show, either – as part of the anniversary, Dior is teaming up with David Jones to open pop-up stores in its Sydney (Aug 9–21) and Melbourne (Aug 25–Sept 25) CBD locations, where ready-to-wear items from its A/W 2017 collection can be purchased.
Franklin’s association with Dior is also special for a very personal reason: it is one of the only projects she works on with her husband, Sydney Swans star Lance “Buddy” Franklin. The couple married last November and try to keep their professional commitments separate. But Dior proved irresistible. Her AFL player beau – she describes him as a “calm man” – became the face of Dior’s Sauvage Very Cool Spray fragrance earlier this winter.
“He thinks I’m jumping on the bandwagon,” she says with a laugh. “But I was like, ‘Hang on, buster! You actually started this.’ The first perfume he ever bought me was Miss Dior when we started dating. It’s the one I travel with because it reminds me of him and that time.
“It’s nice to be able to work on the brand together. We get thrown so many opportunities to work on projects together, but it has to be right.”
The irony is not lost on Franklin that this interview is taking place inside a bridal suite. Asked about life as newlyweds, she replies, “Everyone says the first year of marriage is the toughest, but if this is the toughest, sweet! This is fun. It feels really good. We are like a team.”
And children are on the cards… eventually. For now, though, it’s career and the bliss that comes with any spare moments their hectic schedules allow.
“I would love to say we live a rock-star lifestyle, but we really are the most boring people on the planet,” Franklin says. “I think that’s why we work so well together: we love nothing more than a home-cooked meal, sitting on the couch, usually in some daggy form of tracksuit, enjoying each other’s company.” With that in mind, Franklin admits it’s probably time to change out of the Dior. Not that she wants to. The House Of Dior: Seventy Years Of Haute Couture runs at the National Gallery of Victoria from August 27 to November 7.
“The first perfume Buddy bought me when we started dating was Miss Dior”
JESINTA WEARS Clothing, shoes and accessories (worn throughout) from the Christian Dior A/ W 2017 RTW collection. Available from August at Dior pop-up stores in David Jones Sydney and Melbourne. Make-up by Parfums Christian Dior and Beauty, (02) 9295 9059
HAUTE HISTORY (from far left) The Christian Dior show at David Jones in Sydney, 1948; Dior S/S 2011 haute couture by John Galliano; Christian Dior adjusts the accessories to his Zaire dress on model Victoire Doutreleau before his haute couture showing in 1954.