Just one day shy of women’s history month, Dior took to the runway to celebrate some key female figures who have not only influenced the French house and the Parisian look, but have paved the way for influential women to come, notably Maria Grazia Chiuri. The collection was an ode to the 40s, a time in which women started earning authority for their laborious efforts during the war, by looking back at classic silhouettes, notably Christian Dior’s “New Look”. Giving us florals on skirts and dresses as well as on a giant structure that oversaw the whole room, Dior’s FW23 show was filled with impactful statements and historical and personal references.
HONOURING FRENCH WOMEN
Dior took to its Instagram one day before the show to highlight three French women who inspired its collection. Of these women, there was the famous Parisian singer Édith Piaf, known for “La vie en rose” – translating to “Life in pink” – and “Non, je ne regrette rien” – “No, I regret nothing” – which the show used as its closing song. Another woman celebrated was Juliette Gréco, a singer and actress known for her song “La Javanaise”, also sung by Serge Gainsbourg, and for her involvement in the young communist and rive gauche intellectual movements as well as fronting the bohemian aesthetic. The last woman Dior chose to highlight was none other than the original Miss Dior, Catherine Dior. Sister to the original couturier, Catherine was a brave member of the French resistance movement during the German occupation in the 40s. After the war, Catherine spent her days working in a florist shop, creating a special bond with Christian Dior over their shared love and admiration of flowers.
A GIANT FLORAL STRUCTURE
The set this season was colossal. Stepping into the blue-carpeted room, a giant structure took over the space, sprouting from the ground and featuring uvula-looking hanging pieces.. The piece, titled “Valkyrie Miss Dior”, was created by the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos in honour of Catherine and Christian Dior, showcasing her love of flowers through the many textiles found sewn onto the structure.
THE 40S NEW LOOK
Each of the women celebrated lived during the German occupation of France throughout World War II, an era that was revisited through clothing at Dior’s FW23 collection. The silhouettes had cinched waists, rounded shoulders and puffy skirts that widened the hips. The “New Look” was originally created by Christian Dior post-war in an effort to dress women for pleasure rather than duty. This season, it was revisited through open-shirts and short-sleeve cardigans as well as a wide array of full skirts in black, blue denim, and floral prints.
MONOTONE WITH A POP OF COLOUR
The collection, which consisted of just under 100 looks, started off in a monotone mood, showing white-and-grey nailshead jackets and skirts, black puffer jackets and scarves, as well as classic white button-ups paired with black ties and black gloves. The looks then slowly transitioned into a colourful offering, through the use of blurred floral prints on dresses and skirts. We also saw a dip-dyed mohair jumper in a purple and green colourway, a pink and purple tartan skirt, a leopard print short-sleeve dress and a blurry checked blue and grey coat. The clothing, which took cues from old silhouettes and trends, was modernised through the use of sunglasses, caps and a very French béret.
WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN
Being the first female creative director at the helm of one of the biggest fashion brands, Maria Grazia Chiuri is known to celebrate her fellow accomplished sisters. Last season, we saw her turn to Catherine de Medici for inspiration, while this season another Catherine caught her eye. Who better to celebrate strong women than other strong women? The front row for this collection welcomed some of the most influential female figures of our time, including BLACKPINK’s Jisoo, Game Of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, The White Lotus’ Alexandra Daddario, actresses Gal Gadot and Charlize Theron, style icon and sunglasses designer Karen Wazen, and singer Xin Liu. Rumour has it that security was doubled since last season in preparation for the chaos the appearance of these women would cause.
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