Dior’s attention to detail, not only in their garments, but in their setting and staging as well, continues to be the focal point of the brand. Under Maria Grazia Chiurri, this season was no different, as every last item correlated beautifully with the setting, the collection’s theme, and Chiuri’s tribute to women.
The collection was both an homage to classic Dior as well as a more thoughtful social statement surrounding what it means to be a woman in visual arts. The first exit featured a shirt emblazoned with art historian Linda Nochlin’s famous quote, “Why have there been no great women artists?” Chiurri turned to Niki de Saint Phalle, one of the first respected female artists from the 20th century, as a major influence for Spring 2018. The theme of women as artists continued throughout the show, as art was embroidered, knitted, and even made into prints for each outfit. Though Dior stayed true to the theme of strong women that has run throughout fashion ‘month,’ the label presented it in a more cerebral, semiotic way as you would art itsel: by relying on the audience to interpret it in their own way.
This is Chiurri’s second year as artistic director at Dior, and although she is adding her own personal touches or views, she is not straying far from Dior’s elegant DNA. The collection kept up this tone while presenting different interpretations of femininity from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s respectively; the multi- shaded, high waisted denim represented the freedom of the 70’s, the neon colours as well as the “Boy George” hats were reminiscent of the 80’s, and lastly, the oversized, tailored suits represented the minimalist 90’s. Though the collection played with these three eras, it also represented the timeless take on “French girl” style through the accessories and the simple “I don’t care” attitude that constitutes Parisian chic.
Dior made an impactful start to Paris Fashion Week, evolving from classic elegance to modern feminism, but still keeping up their roots. Fashion is at a time of evolution and this is exactly what Dior is accomplishing.