“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

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Contents - Pho­tog­ra­phy ED­WARD MUL­VI­HILL Styling KELLY HUME Words KARLIE RUTHER­FORD

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”

12

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.

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