Maria Grazia Chiuri, we salute you
Words by Victoria Magrath of Inthefrow.
You need only spot the vast crowd of excitable paparazzi outside of the Parisian Musée Rodin to sense that the Dior Show is about to ensue. Sophisticated ladies in heels, adorned with leather handbags decorated with the Dior lettering in antique gold metal, strut inside the gates of the venue holding their golden ticket to the Spring Summer 2018 show.
It is Tuesday 26th of September 2017 and the moment that all Dior enthusiasts have been waiting for since the March before.
The new Dior
The fashion world has gone Dior crazy, since the positioning of Maria Grazia Chiuri as Dior Artistic Director and Peter Phillips as Creative and Image Director of the Dior Makeup line.
There is something about both of these inspiring individuals that has kicked up the Dior hysteria a couple of extra notches and a world wide adoration for the latest Dior designs has followed.
The A/W17 designs offered an amalgamation of blues, navys and black, accessorised with leather berets and finished with an assortment of black boots and heels of varying heights. This season, the audience streamed into the gardens of Musée Rodin to experience a Spring appropriate collection from one of the most innovative female designers there has ever been.
The venue was an enchanting cavern of white walls and a glistening mosaic of mirrors, inspired by Niki de Saint Phalle. Each of the 80,000 pieces of mirrored glass caught the light and sent sparkles bouncing around the room like the inside of a crystal, and situated down the centre of the cave, two columns of seats awaiting guests. It took 20 days for the team to erect the structure upon the lawns of the Museum and such intense workmanship would accommodate a fashion show of a mere ten minutes. Alas, every minute was worth it.
The Dior beauty look
To begin, the makeup look was stripped back and fuss free, paying close attention only to the lashes that were ‘cemented’ in Dior Pump’n’Volume Mascara. With a couple of coats, the lashes were thick, black and spider like, drawing the attention immediately to the eyes. The skin was flawlessly finished in the new Dior Forever Undercover 24hr Full-cover Foundation, launching in January, and accompanied by the Dior Lip Scrub to prep and Dior Lip Glow to tint and moisturise, again in a variety of new shades launching in early 2018. No blush, no bronzer, just dramatic eyes and a dash of colour to the lips.
There were 80 looks in the Dior Spring Summer 2018 collection, and the empowering theme was set immediately with the first look; a breton striped long sleeved t-shirt asking ‘Why have there been no great women artists?’; a quotation from a 1971 article by feminist art scholar, Linda Nochlin.
This is the second time that Maria Grazia Chiuri has been inspired by literature for her feminist messaging, following last season’s sell-out t-shirts stating ‘We should all be feminists,’ borrowed from the title of the book written by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It was clear from this collection that the designer had something to say for such a statement.
Strong checkerboard patterns, bold stripes and miniature polkadots met panels of washed denim and leathers of contrasting colours. The gothic and romantic tulle dresses and skirts of previous seasons were thankfully inserted once again, layered over thick striped bodysuits, bras and shorts and embellished with embroidered symbols and gathered pleats.
Dresses, t-shirts and playsuits were primarily mini length, met by knee high boots in lace up fishnet mesh, and it was heart shapes and a green dinosaur that became the identifiable logos of the collection. Further cartoon shapes and figures, inspired by the artwork of Niki de Saint Phalle were also present throughout the collection, as were her mirrored mosaics for the finale pieces.
The twinkling mirrors of the venue were matched by an assortment of mini dresses and playsuits with mirrored embroidery: red, orange, yellow, blue, pink and silver; belted in black fabric and layered with fine black polkadot tulle. Of course each colourful mirrored dress was completed with coordinating Christian Dior branded straps and a matching mini Dior clutch bag.
The fabrics in the collection were varied, the colour combinations were unusual and yet the story was complete. It was a powerful, characterful and feminine collection to suit the multitude of facets to every woman.