Whilst Maria Grazia Chiuri’s collections will always have feminism at their chore, for the spring summer 2020 season the Dior artistic director decided to kick off Paris Fashion Week in substance and shine the spotlight on another important issue: sustainability.
True to form, for her ready-to-wear collection, she took to the archives for inspiration, in particular, the original miss Dior aka Catherine Dior, Christian Dior’s sister.
A keen gardener, she tended to the family’s flowers, acting in harmony with the passing seasons. This was reflected in the collection: floral embroidery, raffia finishes, earthy tones and subtle washes of colour on delicate fabrics. The shapes were still true to the ‘new look’, with cinched in waists and full skirts, mixed in with more masculine tailoring and oversized silhouettes.
Accessories were also on point, with a raffia update on the sell-out tote, as well as straw hats aplenty – watch out for these on Instagram next season.
Of course, florals at Dior are nothing new, another homage to house’s rich history. They first appeared on the Miss Dior dress at the spring/summer 1949 collection, then the Japanese Garden dress for spring/summer 1953, the Rose France dress for spring/summer 1956 and the Roseraie dress for spring/summer 1957.
The designer said, ‘It appeared essential to me that this legacy be addressed with a new perspective: flowers and plants don’t just serve an ornamental purpose, they are our environment. We have a commitment to care for them, today more than ever.’
This is why, rather than focusing on nostalgia, Maria Grazia wanted to look to the future, in particular at what we can do to re-establish an equilibrium between nature and man. She wanted to create ‘an inclusive garden’.
For the set, a magical forest that gave us the impression of being suspended in time, she collaborated with Coloco (a collective of botanists, gardeners and urban landscapers) to install trees, that will then continue their journey after the show, joining several long-term sustainability projects in the Paris region, to reinforce wooded areas.
With this collection Maria Grazia Chiuri pays tribute to the woman gardener, who observes and tends, thinks and acts. Proof fashion can be so much more than pretty.