Christian Dior S/S 2019 Paris Fashion Week Women’s

Christian Dior S/S 2019 Paris Fashion Week Women’s

Mood board: There’s a sense of pirouetting pizzazz on the S/S 2019 catwalks. Gucci’s Michael Clark-choreographed performance at the Gucci Hub, Jil Sander’s boxing boots-meets-ballet shoe, Acne Studios’ ballet dancer photo patches and Merce Cunningham dance company poster prints. There’s strength, power and composure in modern dance, and it was these elements which Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri drew upon for her S/S 2019 show.

Whether it’s a woman wearing a pro-feminism tee shirt or one channelling the rebellious spirit of the 1968 student riots in Paris, Chiuri is a powerful female proponent. She name checked Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth Saint Denis, Martha Graham and Pina Bausch as inspirations: pioneering dancers and choreographers who changed the face of on-stage storytelling, and her collection captured the femininity of ballet dancer silhouettes. In a collection of nudes, pinks midnight blue and shimmering metallics, Chiuri presented a collection of taffeta skirts and jersey crop tops, long gowns with their tops cut like leotards, draped dresses, footwear with delicate ribbon details which criss-crossed up leg and dancer’s head bands. The soft silhouettes were less restraining than the nipped Bar Jacket heritage of the house. There were also flourishes of tie-dye and acid wash denim, floral prints of sunflowers and kaleidoscopic tessellations of petals and chic short suits. The pretty beauty associated with arabesques and pliés, fused with a modern utility and a hippy flourish.

Team work: Chiuri deviated from the usual Musée Rodin setting of her womenswear show, instead sending guests to a hippodrome in the Bois de Boulogne. The cavernous and dimly lit showspace was illuminated with spotlights, and as the show began petals delicately floated to the ground. What followed was a spectacular dance performance, performed in parallel with Dior’s runway show, choreographed by Sharon Eyal. An avant-garde and eerie contortion of twisting and jerky limbs, with dancers sporting Dior leggings and bodysuits adorned with astrological signs. 

Best in show: Those more frothy ballerina-esque creations will give instant red-carpet appeal, and the millennial customer to which Chiuri is catering will fall for their soft romanticism. But there were more mature and classic shapes that will please the brand’s older customer, like a terrific navy column dress with voluminous sleeves, an inky trouser suit or a shapely white skirt with delicate floral embellishments. Like Sharon Eyal’s dancers on stage, they had a great sense of modern drama. §

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