Monday 26th March

| BY Finn Blythe

WATCH: The Making Of Look 63 For Dior’s SS18 Show

For the Dior Spring/ Summer 2018 collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri urged us to question what she deemed the systemic suppression of women in the arts. Her opening look asked: Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? and Art Historian Linda Nochlin’s essay of the same title was distributed on show seats. Stitched within the collection was the underlying theme of capability and resourcefulness, echoed by fabrics and techniques that spoke of a similar sentiment. You want a new dress? Teach yourself to sew. You want change? Make a sign and get out there. Central to all this was the French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, who despite having never received a formal training, is one of the few female artists renowned for her work in monumental sculpture. It was her vibrant works in Tuscany’s Tarot Garden that informed both the show’s setting and the embroidery for the above bodysuit. Composed of twenty-seven motifs, this particular sculpture of wool and lace was realised by five seamstresses over the course of eighty hours. Working with the sort of precision that would put most neurosurgeons to shame, the resulting piece is an embodiment of Chiuri’s pedagogic vision for the House. These are clothes that not only inform and educate, but compel us to scrutinise and take action.