Just when we thought the whole “Twilight” saga was over, the fashion world is reminded of its existence with the news that Robert Pattinson has been named the newest face of Christian Dior. The “Edward Cullen” actor will star in the French luxury goods company’s newest advertising campaign, photographed by the renowned Mario Testino. The photos will be released in high-profile magazines in September 2011, ahead of the autumn/winter Dior collection, expected to include a heavy social media presence.

The End of an Era

As you may recall, “Twilight” was a groundbreaking film. Its box office receipts put it in the upper echelons of box office hits (it’s now at number three on IMDb’s top ten films of all time), and its global appeal made it a cultural phenomenon. With each passing year, the film’s reputation grew stronger as it touched on themes that resonated with a global audience, including love, loss, and most notably – fashion. The film is credited with making fashion an integral part of the cultural zeitgeist, with its countless style references and memorable quotes. Many fashion-forward individuals would even go so far as to say it helped define a Generation (or two).

As fascinating as fashion was in Twilight, it wasn’t the main event. The story revolved around the characters’ relationships and interactions with one another, and though fashion was a significant aspect of those interactions, it wasn’t the focal point. That changed when “Breaking Dawn” was released in 2010. Fans of the film have dubbed it “The Twilight Saga: Bite-Size Chronicles.” With its stop-motion animation sequences and its emphasis on building character, the film brought fashion to the forefront as we’ve never seen it before.

An Opportunity To Shine

What’s important to recognize is that Christian Dior, as well as other luxury companies, have taken note of “Twilight’s” success and have sought to ride its coattails. They’ve seen an opportunity to shine, and they’re taking full advantage of it, hiring A-list celebrities (most notably, Céline Dion and Pierce Brosnan) to front their products. This latest collaboration with Robert Pattinson is yet another example of how fashion has fully embraced the Twilight phenomenon, and it represents a significant chance for the actor to make a statement.

A Designer Colleague

If you followed fashion closely in the 1990s, you may remember that Christian Dior was the luxurious company that designed Kate Moss’ wedding dress. The partnership proved to be so fruitful that it was eventually expanded to include a full collection of wedding dresses. Since then, Moss has worked with other designers, including Lanvin and Prada. Additionally, she’s starred in ads for Dior, Gucci, and more recently, Burberry.

Now, Christian Dior has a chance to show the fashion world that not only is Kate Moss a reliable collaborator, but so is Robert Pattinson. The fact that he agreed to take on this project, apparently without any formal training, shows that he has a bold, creative mind and a genuine interest in fashion. Though he may not always choose his collaborators wisely (hello, “Cosmos”), at least he’s always willing to entertain offers.

For his part, Pattinson seems relieved to have escaped Bella’s clutches once and for all. It’s been an arduous 18-month journey, and while he may have found true love in Demi Moore, he has no intention of settling down with her. As he told Entertainment Tonight: “I’m in no rush to marry anyone at the moment, so I’m just going to continue to live my life and see what happens.”

That “what happens” may include another chance to shine for Pattinson as he continues to work with top designers. Perhaps he’ll choose to grace the cover of Vogue yet again or land a role in a big-budget film. Who knows? We may just have to watch and see what Christian Dior has in store for us.