Maria Grazia Chiuri held her second RTW womenswear show for Dior today, and if last season started a Dio(r)evolution, this offering was Chiuri’s uniform for her new revolutionaries. Inspired by Christian Dior’s 1949 winter haute couture collection, this was a show that acknowledged the significance of this inheritance and remade it for the modern Dior woman – here’s what you missed.
BLUE WAS THE NEW BLACK
Picasso, Miró, Cézanne – these great artists have all had a ‘blue period’, and this seemed to be Chiuri’s. Gone was the fairytale forest of her midsummer haute couture show in the same venue (the Musée Rodin) just last month, replaced here by a stark, stripped back set with nothing but the house’s name and walls of navy blue to decorate. So far, so mysterious, with atmospheric smoke adding to that effect – but if you paid attention to the brand’s social media before the show, you’d know the colour was one that always fascinated the original Dior who said: “Among all the colours, navy blue is the only one which can ever compete with black, it has all the same qualities.”
Out of the smoke marched Chiuri’s new Dior woman, led by current face of the brand Ruth Bell, tapped for her embodiment of the designer’s desire to “create fashion that resembles the women of today.” This time, this involved turning her 1949 Chevrier look inspiration into sportier, more contemporary materials, all capped off with a leather beret and sash in a style reminiscent of Girl Scout uniforms. But each girl was her own amongst the sea of almost completely navy looks – in a memorable moment Louis Vuitton favourite, Fernanda Ly’s pastel pink hair provided a shock of personality, while the ultimate bad gal Rihanna wore the new season look front row.
THERE WAS DENIM
Kind of revolutionary for a house as steeped in classic femininity as Dior is, Chiuri sent denim out onto the catwalk – and as trousers and boiler suits no less. It was part of her all-definition exploration of what ‘blue’ really means – including the notion of blue collar workers. As the show notes read, blue is a colour “positioned between nature and culture,” – as is denim, encoded as it is in Wild West frontier mythology. Here, it served Chiuri’s own pioneer purpose.
IT WAS STILL VERY FEMININE, THOUGH
This is not to say that the looks weren’t at all feminine, though. As much as Chiuri emphasised resilience and power through a traditionally masculine colour, it was always about womanhood – and the evening dresses proved this. Her favourite astrological prints found their way onto dark velvet dresses, or spun on sheer skirts, a reminder that the inky blue could hold the romance of stars or the sea as well as being starkly powerful.