Dior’s Paris catwalk upstaged by Blenheim Palace coup

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In 1954, at the invitation of the Duchess of Marlborough, Christian Dior reprised his Paris autumn/winter haute couture show to an audience including Princess Margaret, a confirmed Dior fan who had worn the label for her 21st birthday party. Each of the 1,600 guests paid five guineas to attend, with the proceeds going to the British Red Cross. Four years later, after Dior’s death and under the direction of Yves Saint Laurent, the house returned for a second show at the Oxfordshire country house. This year’s show will put Blenheim on the catwalk circuit for the third time after a gap of 58 years.

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Before you buy, try to gauge how a piece might hold up after a few washings. And don’t shell out for clothes you can’t, or won’t, take care of. If you know you’ll never hand-wash that embellished sweater or fancy bra, walk away.

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