Review: Dior AW18
27 February 2018, Musée Rodin, Paris. This is not youthquake HQ, but the Dior Autumn-Winter 2018-2019 ready-to-wear show.
Inspired by the landmark 1968 student protests in Paris, the set was plastered with fashion scrapbooks, magazine covers, feminist slogans and graffiti — the kind of chaos that reproduces the 1960s era. As the first female designer of this French luxury fashion house, Maria Grazia Chiuri again claimed that the future is, in fact, female.
French society in the 1960s was turbulent. Political changes, feminism, and anti-traditional doctrines arose one after another. Fashion was no exception. Along with the calls for women’s liberation, high fashion that once served only nobles was no longer out of reach. From haute couture of elite designers to more affordable mass-market manufacturers, the era of “Modernists” gave fashion houses an opportunity to become mainstream fashion.
To re-enact what it was like 50 years ago, Grazia Chiuri went all out on the late-1960s, modernist aesthetic, with the whole collection filled with elements that are as relevant today as they were in 1968. From crochet to patchwork to embroidered dresses to kilt jackets and to the iconic Lady bags, all of which challenge convention and will undoubtedly drive a craze.
By throwing various fabrics (denim, leather, lace, etc.) onto dresses, trousers, and accessories alike, Grazia Chiuri twisted and cluttered these pieces to highlight Dior’s rich craftiness. Such vibrantly colorful and versatile mosaic is actually a most direct expression of the chaotic feminist movements in the 60s, influenced by the rising Pop art and hippie movement at the time.
With Ruth Bell opening the show in a graphic sweater that read, "C'est non non non et NON!" ("It's no no no and NO!"), the whole collection echoed the 1960s protest. Grazia Chiuri made her own message loud and clear while continuing to tap into the feminist movement, after the tremendous success of her “We Should All Be Feminists” tees last year from the runway.
Plaid seems to be an element that every designer could not resist. However, in this collection, plaid is filtered through Dior’s luxury lens. It can be seen in sheer tulles, a signature of Dior, in a way that softens the pattern and gives street style an elegant twist.
Classic Dior Symbol
Just like Chanel’s double C and Gucci’s double G, Dior’s iconic symbol also made an appearance: a wide leather belt with a gold “D” as its buckle. The letter D may not be the most eye-catching, but it is bold and concise.
Every single look on the runway was topped off with a black newsboy cap, but sunglasses added a sense of playfulness to the uniformity. The colorful rimless lenses echoed the image of the new women, and has become one of the most wanted items in this season.
Grazia Chiuri did a great job supporting the modern-day feminist movement with her acute fashion sense. She pushed her female perspective and feminist principles as understanding temperance, and maintained an outstanding balance between resistance and tradition throughout this line.