Those who remember the flower-lined salons that framed Raf Simons’ Dior debut back in 2012 would be forgiven for thinking that such a feat of floral excellence could never be topped. However, at last week’s Dior S/S 2016 show, the fashion set were met by floral spectacle so vast and so unusual it eclipsed its grand surroundings. Built under the watchful eye of set designer Alexandre de Betak in the centre of the Louvre’s quadrilateral courtyard, Cour Carrée, an 18 metre-high mountain covered with 400,000 bright blue Delphinium flowers housed Dior’s catwalk in its cave-like interior. 

Built over the course of three weeks by a team of 100 florists, carpenters and riggers who worked day and night to bring Simons’ vision to life, the bloom-covered mountain was composed of 15 semi-trucks worth of scaffolding, 2,000 square metres of oasis foam, 4km of sawed lawn and a staggering 40 tons of blue Delphiniums.

Upon entering the rounded 15 metre-long, 60 metre-wide structure, guests were ushered into a pristine white space centred around an embankment of blue Delphiniums from which the models emerged. Bedecked in Simons’ clean-lined collection, they were spotlit by four blue, swivel-armed, multi-headed lights that arched over proceedings like giant flower stems.