Christian Dior Looks To Pop Culture For Pre-Fall 2021.
Since Maria Grazia Chirui’s appointment as creative director of Christian Dior in July 2016, the brand has focused on a more nuanced style, using feminist imagery and language in its womenswear collections. One of the most infamous pieces, since she joined, has been her slogan t-shirt ‘We Should All Be Feminists’, worn by influencers and celebrities such as Rihanna, Kendal Jenner and Karlie Kloss. Though many in the fashion world think of Chiuri’s work to be a bit too simplistic and not paying due diligence to the brand’s refreshing and innovative identity that Dior fans are accustomed to.
It is important to note that Chiuri’s work behind the scenes has been transformative. The designer’s work with the Fashion Revolution grassroots movement and consistent push for equality during the Women@Dior programs showcases a designer with strong convictions. However, beyond Chiuri’s many t-shirts printed with feminist ideas and slogans on illuminated signs, the message hasn’t necessarily translated that well into her clothing. In comparison, Kim Jones has been lauded by both customers and insiders alike for his innovative and exquisite collections at Dior Homme. It is interesting to see that Maria Grazia Chiuri’s newest collection for Pre-Fall 2021 has finally focused on more colour, playful prints and contemporary references than her previous work. Leopard and dinosaur prints are emphasised throughout the collection. Displayed through retro-looking polaroid photographs, the collection has a slightly youthful tone. Is it playful? Yes. Exciting? Not really.
In an interview with Vogue, the creative director spoke about the past year, and how she used that as inspiration to create a more lighthearted collection. Chiuri said that “After this year—so intense, so depressing—I would like to come back to the fashion that started my career: the playfulness that attracted me and my generation to fashion, and transform the Dior codes through this attitude.”
This collection takes inspiration from two main pop culture sources. The first being the K-Pop group Blackpink, the second being artist and designer Maripol, who famously worked with 1980’s icons such as Warhol, Basquiat and Madonna. One example has been their usage of cheetah prints modernising the fabric by using it on technical outerwear, as well as for their new skiwear line. Alongside the leopard print, there were also floral and monogrammed designs and school uniform style plaid designs for bags, skirts and tops, as though Clueless suddenly received a 2020 French remake. The infamous slogan t-shirt received a similar spin, featuring a piece with a heart-filled ode to Paris, reminiscent of the classic I Love NY designs.
Despite the criticisms that Chiuri’s work receives from fashion insiders, it certainly does not affected Dior’s customer base, seeing consistent sales since her appointment. The Christian Dior group recorded a 12% increase in the 3rd quarter of 2020, with their knitted Bar jacket doing exceptionally well. Still, many believe that Chiuri has not gone far enough in her work, and has oftentimes strayed for a more conventional approach to appease their customer base.
This collection comes at a time when Kim Jones has been revolutionising the Dior Menswear line, and many have often called for him to also take over Christian Dior womenswear. It’s an interesting dichotomy between what the customers of Christian Dior want and what the fashion fanatics and online critics expect from Dior.
Check out the full collection here
More on CULTED