In case Dior fans haven’t gotten the message yet, Maria Grazia Chiuri emblazoned her house’s feminist credentials in flashing neon signage suspended from the ceiling of Jardin des Tuileries, the venue for her fall ’20 show.
The collaboration with feminist artist Claire Fontaine featured slogans including “When Women Strike, the World Stops,” “Women Are the Moon That Moves the Tides,” and “Patriarchy = CO2,” a correlation between patriarchy and the current climate emergency. There were also signs that read “We Are All Clitoridian Women,” which spoke to placing the emphasis on pleasure, as opposed to reproduction, when it comes to sex. However, the most ubiquitous of these slogans was one word: “Consent.”
Coming the day after Harvey Weinstein’s guilty verdict, this felt more apposite than ever.
Given the messages regarding gender equality, the fashion in the collection followed suit. The heroine shoe Chiuri presented today in Paris was an update on the mesh combat boots she delivered for spring. The heavy-duty style came with an exaggerated rubber toe cap that was in keeping with the extreme volumes that we saw at London Fashion Week and continued to gain ground in Milan, including the overblown silhouette of Daniel Lee’s new clown shoes at Bottega Veneta, an update on the previous season’s motocross vibe. There were also winter-ready galosh-style boots with shearling trims.
It’s taken a while, but Maria Grazia Chiuri is really getting into her stride and it’s not just with footwear.
Chiuri’s continuing to put her own stamp on house tropes, such as the check, while creating new ones at the same time with her graphic mesh interpretations. Checks carried over from pre-fall by way of jaunty mini kilts and swingy peacoats. Furthermore, blanket-style plaid outerwear and skirts, with fringed detailing, was showcased front row on Romee Strijd and have “It” item written all over them. Spring’s mesh detailing resurfaced in both hosiery and woven interpretations of the classic Dior shopper bag.
The Dior check print also appeared in traditional menswear fabrics such as tweed, while pinstripes and skinny neck ties continued the ongoing dialogue between womenswear and menswear that we’ve been seeing throughout the fall ’20 collections.
“I love checks,” wrote Christian Dior in 1954 in his Little Dictionary of Fashion. “They can be fancy and simple; elegant and easy; young and always right.”
The applause, not least from the show’s female-centric front row including Cara Delevingne, Rachel Brosnahan, Demi Moore, Karlie Kloss, Sigourney Weaver, Maya Thurman Hawke, Romee Strijd and Alexa Chung, made clear that Chiuri’s messages were well received.
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