Dior A/W 2019 Paris Fashion Week Women’s

Dior A/W 2019 Paris Fashion Week Women’s

Maria Grazia Chiuri celebrates the rebllious style of Teddy Girls

Scene setting: For A/W 2019, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri enlisted the octogenarian Italian artist and writer Bianca Pucciarelli Menna to design Dior’s show set. Menna works under the male pseudonym Tomaso Binga, an alter ego she adopted to highlight the privilege awarded to male artists. Her works include the 1976 Alfabetiere Murale, a typographical alphabet with letters formed from nude portraits of Binga herself. For the maison’s show, these letters were tessellated across the interior of the Musée Rodin (where Dior returned to after a S/S 2019 stint at the Hippodrome de Longchamp). Chiuri is the first woman to take the creative helm of Dior, and her collaboration with Menna, whose male alter ego draws attention to patriarchal hierarchy, was a poignant partnership.

Mood board: London’s V&A museum is currently showcasing a Dior retrospective which highlights its couturier founder’s affection for Britain. Princess Margaret was a fan of M. Dior, and chose to usurp British tradition, and wear one of his designs for a Cecil Beaton-lensed 21st birthday portrait in 1951. Chiuri used this milestone to explore 1950s Britain as a style decade, drawing on the aesthetic of Teddy Girls, who favoured androgynous quiffs, a silk scarf (very A/W 2019), an Edwardian men’s jacket and a rolled up trouser. Her modern take on that rebellious rock ’n’ roll trend? Quilted boiler suits, vinyl trenchcoats with a Bar-silhouette cinched waist, swathes of Buffalo check (emblazoned on shirts, full skirts, bucket hats and even cagoules), and bow-detail sweaters. Silhouettes were unusually sporty, and these offset the more feminine gauzy skirts and bustier dresses in the collection.

Best in show: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams features a retrospective of the creative directors that have worked for the maison, since M. Dior’s death in 1957. A 21-year-old Yves Saint Laurent took the reins straight after, presenting his first collection for the house in 1958. His last collection for Dior in July 1960, featured a long black coat called ‘Le Blouson Noir’ a reference to the name given to Paris’ Teddy Boy and Girl equivalents. Chiuri reimagined this style for A/W 2019, her own signature evoking the design alphabet of Dior leaders before her. §

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