Scene setting: For Christian Dior’s S/S 2017 haute couture show in January, Maria Grazia Chiuri transformed the Musée Rodin into a fairytale forest. For her second ready-to-wear collection for the house, the designer opted for a more pared back setting. Inspired by the colour blue, a painterly chambray catwalk was reflected in the mirrors that lined the show space, which was filled with a smokey blueish light. It opened to the calming sounds of panpipe (after the frenzied entrance of Rihanna to the front row), and closed with a ghostly and acoustic rendition of Billie Holiday’s Blue Moon.
Mood board: Three seasons into her tenure at the house, Chiuri has been exploring her own relationship with its founder. She has looked to both M Dior’s superstition, and also his use of a bumblebee metaphor to describe the buzzing activity of the house after his invention of the New Look in 1947; the invitations once again bore a gold-embossed bee. For A/W 2017, Chiuri drew inspiration from the Dior quote: ‘Among all colours, navy blue is the only one which can compete with black, it has all the same qualities’. To wit, the collection celebrated multifarious iterations of the hue, from workwear to royal garb. There were utility focused overalls and indigo denim dungarees, romantic tulle and sequin dresses (a Chiuri signature), velvet trouser suits and blanket capes, all topped of with Black Panther-style, girl gang leather berets, designed by Stephen Jones.
Best in show: Chiuri referenced Dior's 1949 Chevrier silhouette as particular inspiration, a style that featured hooded details. She developed this sporty and modern aesthetic (after all hoodies and bomber jackets are going nowhere) with sleek double breasted jackets with hood details, and belted shirt dresses, mackintosh’s and pleated jackets in a shiny high-performance style taffeta.