Paris Haute Couture: Christian Dior.


I am a Dior girl.

Well, I will be one day (when I have £40k to dispose on a timelessly beautiful dress). From being a young girl it has always been Dior. A Dior bag, that I desired to one day have and a dream that is now hungrier than ever and is still being fed into. Especially now that Maria Grazia Chiuri is artistic director. My craving for one of her tulle dresses, so delicate and dazzling yet enforcing female strength through the new Dior silhouette. Her fearless outlook on the way women should live a liberated life without the need or want of a male counterpart is something every girl should aspire to. Following on from her statement graphic tees which included the slogans: ‘Why have there been no great female artists’ SS18 and ‘We should all be feminists’ SS17, this season and for the yearly, hotly, anticipated Haute Couture show in Paris, Chiuri took inspiration from Argentinian surrealist artist Leonor Fini. After a little research and a new found adoration for this amazingly influential 20th-century feminist, I found that she had exhibited some of her works at, non-other, than Mr Christian Dior’s own gallery. Fini gave a fruitful insight into the self-governing life she directed, through portraits of female sphinx’, something nearly always depicted as a male, and, provocative impressions of her sexually liberated love life. Fini was an iconic feminist before her time, paving the way for other female artists in her wake, she was unapologetically feminine and undeniably talented.
Fascinated with masks, many of her works include portraits of women masquerading their true identity behind fanciful visors. Perhaps this is a more intimate way of portraying a person, the mask being a flamboyant expression of how zed person would want to be conceived. Chiuri herself said “I think dressing for fantasy is not a bad thing. Sometimes you need to be someone else”. This ideal of fantasy and surrealism was attendant in the hall from the avant-garde sculptures of the senses suspended from the high celling’s to the black and white chequer-board floor and the giant looming birdcages encasing the crowd.
The first two pieces that spoke to me were the high-waisted cinched trench coats which came in white with black spots and black with white spots mirroring a domino pattern. This pattern was also embedded into some of the other designs such as the white dress with an under caging bodice that wrapped around the neck in a weave-like structure. The dress encased the model’s shoulders and every bit of it roared with an unusual juxtaposition of delicacy that was ineffably graceful and strong. This webbed bodice turned black for the gown whose lower body was intentionally coated in a bold contrasting chequer-board print. The print that is usually punk rock, was anything but sheer elegance on the divine beauty who wore it, completely captivating the audience and stealing the show. Chequer-boards ran havoc in the most unconventional way, amplifying beauty instead of singling out differences. My favourite piece had to be THAT feather cape. Each square was decorated with black or white feathers that had so meticulously been put together and worn on top of a matching black and white squared dress that acted as an illusion.
Following on from that cape, I adore how Maria Grazia Chiuri incorporated feathers in an original way. She didn’t bombard the shoulders or waists but a-lined the centre of the frock with fine butterflies made up of black and white feathers which continued right up to the neck. Or what about the transcendent beauty that (probably) intoxicated the air when the floor length cape glided through the catwalk. Complete with appliqued flower motifs, feathers, and a white under netting, this garment was a sight like no other – completely otherworldly. If outerwear had the ability to transport me to another place or dimension, this would take me to a cosmic fairy tale, where no group of people had to fight for a right to be treated as equals. I would also be riding a unicorn to the fountain of youth, complete with this divine ensemble blowing in the wind. Alternatively, I could feel like a phoenix, smouldered in the ashy remains of the incomparable peacock feather dress that had a life of its own swishing definitely from one side to the other.
Throughout the show, models sported unusual (but fabulous) masks. They gave the hall the aura of being a luxury, ever decadent, masquerade ball. These of course were inspired by Fini and given a present-day spin. From black vignette fading visors to block cat-eyed eyed masks, Dior displayed all. My favourite two: the first was the handkerchief square that was netted in perfectly dimensioned diamonds and twisted in a blown away style. The second was the netted veil which wrapped around the whole head and was embellished with flies.
Cages that hung from the celling’s pointed towards the cleverly structured dresses that featured on the line. There was a bodycon dress: opaque and tight until the waistband where the dress gave way and allowed the bottom half to encase the legs in a delicate prison of crisscrossed fabric. This was a consistent theme throughout the show but replaced with different cuts and fabric: instead of tulle, you would have velvet. This imprisonment could nod towards various factors in the press at the moment, perhaps it is a stand with the ‘Time’s Up’ movement as the collection mostly consisted of black and the use of the opaque upper body. A stand on the free nature of the female nipple. Perhaps it was an insinuation that women are caged and imprisoned because of our bodies. Whatever the reason or ultimate inspiration: Chiuri nailed it! Looking at the finer details, some of the models wore tiny birdcage earrings in one ear and their ultra-winged eyeliner perhaps suggests the fence we put up around our souls. We do not surrender that easily.

I cannot wait to be a Dior woman


Donate me to and fund my Dior bag (and the lifestyle I want)

Donate me to and fund my Dior bag (and the lifestyle I want)

£10.00


 

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