Dior F/W2017 Haute Couture Collection

July 31, 2017 8:00 AM

It's impossible to overestimate the impact of Christian Dior's first collection when it was shown in Paris in 1947. The global community had just emerged from the devastation of war, and it was a time of rebuilding and rapid economic growth. Women who had entered the workplace to fulfill manufacturing jobs in support of the war effort were longing for glamour and a return to their traditional feminine roles. Dior's new look was the answer. His iconic silhouette– cinched waists, voluminous hips swathed in taffeta, and sharply accented busts– was nothing short of revolutionary.

Seventy years later, Dior's Artistic Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri found herself in the unenviable position of designing the label's Autumn/Winter 2017-2018 haute couture collection. It's like a contemporary pop singer recording a song by Marvin Gaye or Frank Sinatra. One must pay homage to the legacy, yet venture far enough from the prototype to suggest innovation, lest she be accused of mere imitation. Like I said, it's an unenviable task. But if anyone is up for the challenge of steering the most storied fashion house of the 20th Century into a bold new future in the 21st, then surely it is Chiuri.

Born and educated in Rome, Chiuri spent twenty years as a designer at Valentino before her appointment at Dior last summer, the first female Artistic Director in the company's history. Like Monsieur Dior himself, Chiuri's skills as a couturier are unimpeachable: the meticulous body-skimming tailoring, the selection of fabrics that float with the body, the lush details which add sophistication but never detract from the silhouette.

These attributes were present in all 66 of the looks that Chiuri presented in the gardens of Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris on July 4th, and many of her garments were explicitly inspired by original designs by Christian Dior. The strapless evening dresses are particular standouts. An ankle-length ball gown with a tulip bust in deep grey silk would boost a red carpet ingenue into full-fledged global stardom. A lace embroidered evening dress in shades of grey with a scalloped hem screams Hampton's garden party. A silk evening dress with a sheer herringbone design, translucent bust and zig-zag hem is edgy yet sophisticated, in a Rihanna at the Grammies sort of way. A fringy embroidered cocktail dress with a deep v-neck and sheer skirt would be a stunning red carpet look for Jennifer Lopez. Yes, I know, a burlap sack would be stunning on Jennifer Lopez, lest we digress. Similarly, this fringe number would be a show-stopper on anyone lithe and daring enough to wear it.

Like Mr. Dior, Ms. Chiuri has a particular fascination with jacketed suits. But in contrast to Monsieur's calf-bearing designs, Chiuri's collection features mostly ankle-length garments. Paired with her penchant for wool and a palette along the grey spectrum, Chiuri's designs sometimes venture from Dior's celebration of life and fertility, and almost suggest a wartime rations sensibility, as if the garments were made from surplus army blankets.

For women of the world who celebrate life at fabulous galas and red carpet events, there will be no shortage of divine options from Chiuri's couture collection for Dior this season. And let those of us who critique Chiuri's aesthetic and compare her to Monsieur Dior be damned. For Dior was a man with a vision to create clothes that every woman in the world would want to wear, and seventy years later, the fashion house he built remains one of the most storied on the planet. And while the book of Dior has many chapters by various authors, Chiuri has earned her place among them. Her collection was indeed appropriately innovative while paying respect to the legacy, an unenviable task which Chiuri has approached with courage and grace. Monsieur Dior would surely approve.

 

 

WRITTEN BY KAREN FRAGALA-SMITH

EDITED BY HOLLIS DE LANEY

 

PHOTO CREDIT: DIOR

 

related posts

Prada Re-Introduces “It” Bags from 1991-2005

For the occasion of the exhibition at the MET, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, which opened May 10th, Prada has done a special re-edition collection of some of the bags...

May 10, 2012 1:33 PM  |  Fashion

Gucci Partners with Recording Academy for Special Edition Timepieces

Three years ago the partnership between Gucci and The Recording Academy began with the high-end luxury brand creating special edition timepieces.

May 01, 2012 12:42 PM  |  Fashion
By Hiroshi Sugimoto, used in Women’s Wear Daily<br>http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/shadow-play-5825183

Hermès Partners with Hiroshi Sugimoto for their Editeur 3rd Edition

For the third edition of the Hermès Editeur project- where the luxury brand combines the fine art world with various textiles- Hermès has partnered with Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto.

May 01, 2012 12:21 PM  |  Fashion
By Ilvio Gallo / Courtesy of Azzedine Alaïa

The Life of Azzedine Alaia

Azzedine Alaia was first introduced to fashion as a young boy when assisting the famous midwife Madame Pinot.

May 01, 2012 11:58 AM  |  Fashion
By Grace Bol, used by Style.com

Manish Arora: Creative Director for Paco Rabanne

Manish Arora, a fashion designer known for his wild prints, bright psychedelic colors, and over the top looks, was appointed the creative director of Paco Robanne early last year.

May 01, 2012 10:30 AM  |  Fashion
Photo courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

MAC’s Reel Sexy

The latest collection in MAC’s line of cosmetics, Reel Sexy, is dramatic and bright, the embodiment of Spring and Summer.

May 01, 2012 8:53 AM  |  Fashion

Noritaka Tatehana: The man behind heel-less footwear

We have all seen Lady Gaga walk around in her 9 Inch heel-less shoes and wonder in amazement how she keeps herself up; well here I am going to introduce you to the man behind these infamous shoes...

May 01, 2012 8:37 AM  |  Fashion

Pages

SITE BY: monocomplex©Marbles & Marbles International Inc. Drupal Development by: DivDiv, NYC
▲ back to top ▲