This innovative Paris Fashion Week is hosting an astounding amount of debuts this year, with Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior debut probably being the most anticipated. Formerly designer at Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri is now Dior’s first-ever woman creative director, with the Christian Dior spring/summer 2017 ready-to-wear collection being her first take with the French mansion.
Being the first-ever woman at the helm of Dior is no small feat for sure, and Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri knew many women and men had put a lot of expectations on her also because of that. After all, Maria Grazia Chiuri came after one of Dior’s most iconic and well-praised creative directors – Raf Simons, who by many was dubbed one of the world’s leading and most inspiring creative directors ever.
With a 64-piece collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri perfectly managed to meet anyone’s expectations, as her lineup combined Dior’s visionary views on women’s fashion with a more contemporary, high and low combination of attitudes that makes everything just mesmerizing and encouraging at the same time.
Bringing in distinctive street wear and lingerie touches, Chiuri’s Dior spring/summer 2017 collection took a clear stand on society, as it let fashion meet and blend in with feminism. Along with dreamlike gowns and ladylike cocktail dresses, the lineup was filled with graphic t-shirts that boldly stated that “we should all be feminists” and that we should make “mor(e)volution”.
To reinforce her feminist statement, Maria Grazia Chiuri let Beyoncè’s “Flawless” play as the runway show’s soundtrack, as its lyrics feature activist and writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk “we should all be feminist” (which is available as a book too!).
It is always encouraging to see how skillfully and passionately fashion educates society, and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s way to do it has already gone viral, with the feminist tees already being one of the most coveted staples on the main social media.
As for the source of inspiration the Italian designer was inspired from, everything was designed to place “the woman front and center,” as Chiuri specifically explored “the form and shape of a silhouette that’s contemporary, agile and Olympian.”
When it comes to the Dior spring/summer 2017 collection per se, the lineup was filled with exciting and intriguing motifs. Divided in three sections, the collection alternated moments of pure femininity with more genderless, fencing-inspired motifs, with Chiuri specifically emphasizing the latter.
“The uniform of the female fencer is, with the exception of some special protections, the same as for a male fencer,” Chiuri explained. “The female body adapts itself to an outfit which, in turn, seems to have been shaped to its curves.”
The collection’s color palette got adapted to the different sections too, with light and bright white being used for the revisited athleisure-inspired pieces, black and red for the more glamorous, street-wear staples, and softer, pastel shades for the conventionally sophisticated evening dresses.
All of the sections were linked to one another by Chiuri’s ability to mix high and low pieces with each other, as proven by the white, graphic tees and cozy sweatshirts being combined with graciously beaded and embroidered tulle gowns. Tulle is another recurring theme of the collection: the soft sheer fabric was utilized to adorn both revisited glam rock skirts and curve-hugging evening dresses.
The most breathtaking part of the entire Dior spring/summer 2017 collection lies, however, in the jaw-dropping number of references, delicate patterns and minuscule details Maria Grazia Chiuri finished each of her 64 staples with, making us extremely thrilled and at the same time sad the collection was not a see-now-buy-now one.
Photos courtesy of Vogue