Christian Dior: Ready-to-wear SS17
We should all be feminists. That was the message of Maria Chiuri Grazia’s debut outing for the house of Christian Dior. A message that was, handily, also printed upon a t-shirt, just in case you forgot. It was a fitting slogan for Maria, a designer who is, as you may have noticed, a woman, which, in turn, makes her the very first woman to take the helm of the Parisian house. Thus, this collection was a mission, a mission to create clothing that reflected modern womanhood. “I strive to be attentive and open to the world and to create fashion that resembles the woman of today,” said Maria before the show. So what was this? Well, it began with the uniform of the fencer. As in, the sport. That one were they poke each other with swords or something. The reason? Because, as Maria said, the clothing that a fencer wears is worn by both male and female competitors – the difference being that it is the woman’s body transforms and alters the shape the shape of the garment. So that was the starting point – and, as is the deftness of Maria’s hand, the athletic shape was transformed into something altogether more romantic – the fencer’s tabard becoming more like a bodice, worn with trousers that cut off at the knee, or with a full-length, sheer layered skirt – a sort of athletic, Olympian take on the ballgown. A single red heart was embroidered upon the chest of the opening look. It was this play between masculine and feminine that remained as we moved away from the fencer – floating ballet skirts worn with leather jackets and boxing boots, peeks of bra straps and waistbands emblazoned with Christian Dior, a bit like the waistband of men’s boxers, a bar jacket worn not with a blouse but a t-shirt. This one said Dio(r)evolution. Fitting, no? Because this was a revolution of sorts. This is a Dior lady who’s ready to move. And, she even has a pair of trainers to do it in. But don’t worry – to end, a frisson of sheer tulle dresses, corseted on the bodice and delicately embroidered with the signs of the zodiac. Because, well, this is Dior mon cherie. Where would we be without a little drama?
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans