Capes, crowns and gowns – what went down at the designer’s first haute couture show
With former Valentino designer Maria Grazia Chiuri now at the helm, the house of Christian Dior has entered a new era. Following on from the Italian’s inaugural ready-to-wear collection which was inspired by the uniform of the female fencer, Chiuri took a more fantastical route, staging a show that looked as if it had been drawn from the pages of a Grimms fairy tales. Here’s your quick guide to what went down.
THE GARDEN THEME
Dior do a good botanical set – they did a Jeff Koons-inspired flower wall for Raf Simons’ debut show, hung one million flowers from the ceiling for SS14 and covered a mound with 300,000 delphinium stems for SS16. This season they went more horticultural, creating a mystical woodland complete with grassy seats, a mossy floor and a tree with lights, ribbons and charms hanging from its branches. Apparently it was the idea of a “secret garden” that inspired the collection, and the set certainly conjured up images of fairy tales and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book, The Secret Garden.
THE FAIRY TALE GOWNS
As the show began, it was clear that the idea of fairy tales had been playing on Chiuri’s mind. The first look saw the house’s iconic Bar jacket reinterpreted as a cape, instantly recalling that of Little Red Riding Hood. From there came a series of impossibly delicate fairy-like creations crafted in lace, organza and tulle – soundtracked, in part, by “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” by Tchaikovsky. It was almost surprising the models didn’t have wings.
THE STEPHEN JONES HEADWEAR
These looks were made even more fantastical by the headwear, which had been created by legendary milliner Stephen Jones. These pieces took the form of masks shaped like birds, bats and butterflies; crowns made from feathers, flowers and leaves.
As for the cast, models included former Dazed cover girl Yasmin Wijnaldum, new face Selena Forrest and Dior’s current campaign stars – British twins May and Ruth Bell, the latter of whom closed the show in a pleated tulle gown in powdery pink.