Dior Cruise – Getting Ready with Erin O’Connor

Donna McGowan
April Ru Wan

Fashion veteran Erin O’Connor shares the sacred, calm moments with us before the Dior Cruise 2025 show set in the Highlands of Scotland. A long-time dear friend of the house, O’Conner has had the opportunities of being on the runway, adorning the designer’s magical creations, as well as being a viewer, appreciating the collection from the front row: both are equally enjoyable for her, but the lack of thought for tricky skyscraper heels is always a relief. Scroll through our chat below to hear her love for Maria Grazia Chiuri, her look for the show and her ongoing successful journey in the fashion industry.

  1. April Wan: Having graced some of the most prestigious catwalks in the world, how does it feel to be in the audience, watching the collection from afar? Which experience do you prefer?
    Erin O’Connor: I think both performing in and being an audience member and friend, Dior is like family to me, is equally thrilling. Very different experience but both equally appreciated because of that. I wouldn’t say I have a preference though it is a complete joy to be part of the creative process from beginning to end but to have the great luxury of being a viewer of a collection is really rather special and I don’t really have to worry about tricky heels anymore and navigating shiny, slippery surfaces. And it’s always so great to see the people I have grown up in the industry with, we’re all still trucking along after three decades and what a joy!
    AW: What’s your favourite Dior look that you’ve worn down the runway?
    EO: My favourite Dior look well there have been a few, lucky me, I think probably the most iconic moment that is still metamorphized regularly is the Egyptian Nefertiti it was the look I wore for Couture and it was very physically challenging in every single conceivable way possible but that’s the great joy I have in doing my job. There is something very, very specific about Couture and it’s often about creating an architectural dream, almost like a monument in movement and I got to do that over the years. What’s brilliant is that at certain points in the year people adapt and create their own version of that particular look and it’s a thrill to see them getting sent to me on social media.
  1. AW: Tell us about your look today!
    EO: My look today is actually one of my favourites to date, I covered everything but somehow this look just came together. You know when you think of the upper Highlands of Scotland and the very sort of wilderingly beautiful but nonetheless wild environment, it’s a tricky balance to wear your favourite designer but making sure you stay grounded, literally! So I actually went for a pair of really beautifully printed black and grey jeans and an oversized knit in lambswool, which is actually incredibly sensual and sexy it’s slit almost down to the waist. And a very reassuring and eternally stylish Dior coat just to throw over my shoulders and, of course, who doesn’t need a pair of wedges in Scotland and a lovely pair of shades. So, I would say all in all I was very monochromatic this season but it just felt right and very, very nice feeling to be in and amongst Drummond Castle wearing my favourite look!
    AW: You’ve witnessed the change in fashion over the years; what has kept you thriving in the industry?
    EO: I think my own progress, my own private trajectory has helped me endlessly in every moment of how I’ve evolved in my career which is important to keep doing just to metamorphize in the beginning is one great big thrill but just the continuation of change and how to enhance and how to feel good in yourself, hopefully projects the most positive idea of beauty I can think of and you know I have changed but so has the industry and I always want to tell the truth. I think after three decades of doing my job I am in a better place now than I was in the beginning because it’s all well and good being a chameleon and playing lots of different characters but I think when you start to understand your identity and who you are, you convey a very different, hopefully, appeal. That’s what is very important to me I like to connect with the reader and the person viewing the clothes and collections and I do think fashion should be for all and increasingly it is and it’s not the closed off world it used to be, thank goodness, but equally it is a bit terrifying because you can just access this beautiful clothing straight away… there are no limits!! And, of course, Dior is never far from my mind.
Photographer: Donna McGowan