Christian Dior couture; feminists out, grandes dames in
It’s official; the feminist revolution is finished at Christian Dior. After several seasons of politically slanted show at Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri, this was a clear statement of classical couture, even rather too much so.
Last season, Chiuri plastered the walls of her show with radical posters, images of student demonstrations, agit-prop graphics. She even covered the entire flagship of Dior on Avenue Montaigne in the same images this week.
However, this season’s couture show-space was all white, a custom-built tent inside the Rodin Museum made up of hundreds of couture toiles, an idea taken from the recent, record-breaking exhibition on Monsieur Dior inside the Louvre.
Not a single slogan anywhere, or on any T-shirt. Instead, a pure, rarefied selection of clothes from her opening posh gamine outfits, sleek mid-calf dresses; mini cape jackets; finely cut midnight blue or pink crepe dresses finished with corset-style hand embroidery.
The Italian couturier also revamped the Bar jacket with batwing sleeves and slim undulating ruffles. This show did have another message – nude is the new gray of Christian Dior, with at least a score of flesh-colored frocks on the catwalk.
One sensed that Chiuri was clearly determined to underline that she is fully in command of her own atelier. Her fresh new casting was impeccable, courtesy of Michelle Lee, and a selection of bird shaped earrings added a dash of arty class.
Halfway through, Chiuri suddenly changed gears, and went back to her previous job at Valentino riffing on Renaissance imagery, with about 15 looks inspired by the Gobelins tapestries – on robes with bare shoulders or cashmere intarsia coats. I could have sworn that several guests doubled checked their invitations to make sure they really were at a Dior show.
Overall, the collection’s Achilles Heel was that it was little sense that one was witnessing something new, which is of course, one of the essential elements of haute couture. It is meant to be the laboratory of fashion; and this collection seemed rather devoid of any real experimentation.
For the finale, the cast marched briskly about the convoluted catwalk to Metti Una Sera A Cena by Ennio Morricone. A tune, which if our memory serves us well, we once heard at the finale of a Hubert de Givenchy show some three decades ago.
All told, timewarp fashion.
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