Maria Garcia Chiuri debuted her first collection with the prominent and storied Christian Dior this week. The former co-creative director of Valentino had definitely brought some of her whimsical emphasis on fairytales and fantasy in her new show.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found fashion reviews a little…hard to read. This is very likely due to my lack of experience and fashion vocabulary, which I here so openly admit.
Of course, we should always learn from the best, in order to create the best work! So hereby, I announce my very first Fashion Review Dissection (just because I’m learning how to cut a sheep brain in class lately, highly interesting). In brief, let’s call it FRD.
So, here we go. (Mario..)
“Chiuri successfully softened the corseted stricture of the Dior New Look—the daunting carapace that faces every designer at this house—by using supple fan pleating to create peplums, volumes in sleeves, and swirls in skirts. Things went in and out where they should for a house that does “feminine” waists. The ankle-grazing ballerina length of the New Look was honored, too, even if that was in wide “Tuxedo” culottes, Chiuri’s answer to masculine-feminine tailoring that opened the show.”
“Chiuri successfully softened the corseted stricture of the Dior New Look—the daunting carapace that faces every designer at this house”
Most of you may know about Dior’s New Look, one of the most signature look crafted in the 20th century by Mr. Christian Dior himself. As Mower wrote here, all succeeding creative directors and designers had been trying to recreate and reform the New Look and the Bar Jacket. See Raf Simon’s debut here.
So, it was natural, almost expected that Chiuri had created her own interpretation and take on the piece.
“by using supple fan pleating to create peplums, volumes in sleeves, and swirls in skirts.”
And her version of the Bar and the New Look was very feminine. Adding layers of tiny pleats, forming a peplum. Peplums refer to the layer of raffles at the waist, see other examples here. The pleated skirts are sheer, very much following the pre-fall trends.
“The ankle-grazing ballerina length of the New Look was honored, too, even if that was in wide “Tuxedo” culottes, Chiuri’s answer to masculine-feminine tailoring that opened the show.”
There Mower said it, it’s in fact an exquisite collaboration of the feminine and the masculine. All black, still following the gentle X silhouette, expressed in an androgynous pair of culottes and a sharp jacket. And of course, don’t forget that big mosquito on her face.
Besides the Bar Jacket and New Look reference, Mower also touched on the familiarity of using imaginative prints and embroidery on the skirts, resembling her years of work at Valentino.
“Some of the spirit was familiar, a melding of her Italian-virginal styling with Dior-isms. Fresh-faced nymphs trod the Dior pathways in low kitten heels and boots, wearing ingenue ball gowns with wispy lingerie straps, and a vast variety of poetically playful garden-referenced headdresses by Stephen Jones.”
There were mixed comments in the crowd. Some of it worked, some didn’t. Well, I think is indeed a very heavy reference to Valentino, but it that necessary a bad thing? After all the essence of Dior is actually very…romantic, like Valentino. Yes, one is French the other is Italian, but isn’t the romance and passion transferrable?
A brand doesn’t change with mere time. It also evolves with the creative director, and I think Chiuri has every right and freedom to insert as much ‘Valentino’ she wants into her interpretation of Dior.
And I mean, they are all very damn pretty.
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