Christian Dior A/W 2018

Christian Dior A/W 2018

Scene setting: Last season, in a tribute to the sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, Dior artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri covered the walls of the maison’s showspace at the Musée Rodin with walls of glittering mosaic. Since taking the creative helm of the house in July 2016, the designer has made female empowerment her creative mission – take the brand’s ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ t-shirt of S/S 2017, or the masks in her recent S/S 2018 couture collection inspired by Peggy Guggenheim, a renowned advocate of female artists. For A/W 2018, Chiuri celebrated the left wing protests that shook the Left Bank in 1968, and the walls and floors of Dior’s show set were plastered with a colourful collage of protest posters, magazine covers and slogans including ‘I Am Woman’ and ‘Women’s Rights are Human Rights’.

Mood board: Women in France were not allowed to open a bank account or work without their husband’s permission until the 1960s, and during this decade emancipation was reflected in clothing like miniskirts, flat shoes and trouser suits. Marc Bohan, then artistic director of Dior, opened the ready-to-wear boutique Miss Dior after female protestors rallied outside the Dior boutique with placards emblazoned with ‘Mini Skirts Forever’ in 1966. This was a collection of youthful 60s-inspired protest-wear, featuring kilt skirt suits, reworked denim, bright hippy knitwear, ponchos, embroidered organza dresses and DIY patchwork pieces, made using archive Dior fabrics.

Finishing touches: Chiuri has capitalised on the brand’s accessory offering, and Dior’s logo print bags are front row fixtures. For A/W 2018, she dreamed up studded clogs and biker boots, rebellious balaclavas and baker boy hats. The reintroduction of leather and beaded saddle bags — a noughties signature — came with an ethnic embroidered strap. A must-have for the millennial that marvels at her take on female empowerment come autumn.

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