Maria Grazia Chiuri wants us to heal. The creative director reflected on moving through a world battling with COVID-19, and explored how fashion fits into our new reality. “We are traversing a period of crisis that is radically transforming behaviors, habits and rituals,” the brand stated in its press release. “Our spirits have changed, as have our bodily attitudes. The concept of fashion as we know it has been put into question.”
And so her show was an experience, not unlike a religious one. In Dior’s cathedral, which was actually a tent set in the Jardin des Tuileries, Chiuri populated the stage with varied female artists. Not only was the scenography of stained glass reinterpreted through photographic collages created by Lucia Marcucci, but the clothes themselves were made with the Italian avant-garde’s work in mind, cut in the form of soft patchwork scarves and contrasting textiles. An all-female chamber choir echoed through the venue, filling the space with both beautiful harmonies and pained, panicked vocal runs, mirroring the struggles women face. Chiuri also noted that Susan Sontag and Virginia Woolf were influential in her designs.
The runway was a lesson in elevated relaxation: Airy, chiffon gowns floated across the runway, necklines plunged revealing lace bras, and relaxed kimonos in chambray and Shibori-inspired tie dye, a reinterpretation of Dior silhouettes created for Japan in 1957, were sprinkled throughout. Silhouettes fell away from the body, never restricting. The show displayed a woman of luxurious leisure.
While Chiuri still staged a full runway that ignited fantasies of a Mediterranean summer, she never truly answered the question on the concept of fashion in today’s framework. We suspect it’s open for interpretation, but if anyone needed a reminder that were still in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, look to its front row: Dior-clad celebrities attended both in-person and tuned in from the comfort of their own homes. The show was also streamed on TikTok. It’s still 2020, after all.
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