Whether it’s the sweaty debauchery of Gaspar Noé’s Climax or the uncanny horror of Luca Gaudagnino’s Suspiria, dance is having something of a moment right now. It was front and centre at today’s Dior show, where an impressive performance took centre stage. Here is everything you need to know.
This season, Maria Grazia Chiuri traded the Musée Rodin in for the Hippodrome de Paris Longchamp – a horseracing track on the banks of the Seine. The outside of the enormous venue was decorated with quotes by famous dancers including Isadora Duncan and Pina Bausch, while inside, the dark space was lit only by spotlights. So far, so dramatic.
AS ALWAYS, STRONG WOMEN INSPIRED THE COLLECTION
As well as Duncan and Bausch, Maria Grazia also cited ‘heroines of contemporary dance’ Martha Graham, Ruth St. Denis, and Loïe Fuller as inspiration. According to the show notes, ‘Christian Dior loved dance, as evidenced by the Dior archives, which contain documents illustrating his extraordinary collaboration with Roland Petit on the ballet Treize Danses, and photos of Margot Fonteyn, the dancer and House client’.
THERE WAS A DANCE PERFORMANCE
As the show began, petals started streaming from the ceiling, before a spotlight revealed a solo dancer who twisted and moved sinuously at through the space – before she was joined by a male dancer, and then a whole troupe of performers, all wearing painted bodysuits. Sharon Eyal, who Maria Grazia described as ‘one of the most talented choreographers of our time’, directed the dance posse, explaining the performance was not about bodily perfection or meticulously executed steps, but rather “flexibility and strength of movement” instead.
THE COLLECTION ITSELF WAS ALSO INSPIRED BY DANCE
The silhouettes for SS19 were simple and elegant – leotards were paired with floor-skimming, diaphanous skirts nipped in at the waist, while some looks had edgier, fishnet vests layered underneath simple flowing sheath dresses. There were also prints, including one tie-dye effect motif, and another kaleidoscopic one that resembled feathers – as inspired by Loïe Fuller’s colour-soaked cinematic effects. Some models walked out in groups of four or five, as the dancers weaved their way around them throughout.
...AND TO FINISH OFF, THERE WERE DANCING SHOES
By now, it’s probably pretty clear Maria Grazia was really into dance this season, but if it’s not, then hopefully the inclusion of accessories including ballet shoes, glass-heeled slippers with straps that wound up the ankles, and wide, black headbands that neatly covered models’ hair will hammer it home. The iconic Dior Saddle bag was also back, having been officially re-launched this summer – this time in muted shades of pale pink, camel, and nude that matched the collection.