PFW: Girls At The Forefront For Dior Spring/Summer season 2024
It’s a hot day in Paris, with temperatures spiking far above what any app could’ve predicted. There’s an undulating mass in front of the mounted arena Dior has constructed in the middle of the Jardin des Tuileries. Famous faces fly by, catching cameras and their fans who have converged on the spot just to see them, while bloggers and editors alike scurry to find their place. It’s hard to believe that a fashion show could garner such a blinding spotlight, but this is Maria Grazia Chiuri, and this is Dior.
As we made our way through the towering structure, beams of fuschia and yellow lined the runway and the seven-metre-long LED screens that made up the four walls. For a moment there, we almost thought that we were in for some vibrant summer tones this season. But for the Spring/Summer 2024 collection, Chiuri found inspiration elsewhere.
Slow to take their seats, guests are barely nestled in their rows when the words ‘NOT HER’ are emblazoned across the surrounding screens. As we’d been tipped off earlier by the house’s socials, the digital installation was the work of Italian visual artist Elena Bellantoni, who remixed old cuts of sexist advertising with corresponding slogans that critically correct the original messages. From “We want kids, but we want roses too” and “I say no” to “Women’s struggle is gender struggle,” Bellantoni spoke to multiple points of contention for women—a driving force that underpins much of Chiuri’s work.
Amid the dark heat—I can’t overstate how hot it was—a shush fell upon the audience. And as the lights went down, the fluttering of invitations turned into makeshift fans was all we could hear. Suddenly, a tall glass of water came in the form of a first look.
Taking one of the brand’s core offerings, lace gowns, Chiuri puts a grungey twist on the summer shift by amping up its translucency and tactically weaving in ruffles so that they fall asymmetrically. Better yet. it was styled with lace bike shorts and ballet flats that are set to be the biggest shoe of the year. The next look was a bit more classic Dior, with a relaxed black Bar jacket belted over a sheer A-line skirt.
As the pulsating bass tore through the floors, the soundtrack evolved to a remix of the late Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’. While the atmosphere was almost clubby in nature, the clothes were more understated. Working within a more muted palette than we’re used to seeing with spring/summer shows, Chiuri stuck to black, white and other orbiting neutrals, Splashes of faded denim with burnt seems were a surprise twist, as well as the softening of tailoring that was a departure from the usual crisp craftsmanship.
One of the focal points within this collection was shirting. Whether it was contorted into chic one-shoulder button-ups and dresses or styled with an uncharacteristic edge, Chiuri revisits the reclaimed classic this season. Although, we can’t ignore the multiple sheer show-stoppers that peppered the show.
As the last look exited the runway, there was a unifying sense of content comradery, with almost every guest standing up and pointing their devices backstage for the closing walk.
What Chiuri gets in clothing that is so often dismissed in design is the responsibility that it takes to design for women of the modern world. But this commitment to arming us for the world is something Chiuri does not take lightly. From the slinky silhouettes that make us feel empowered to tap into our innate sensuality to the function-led staples that enable us to take it all on with confidence, Dior once again reminds us of its enduring appeal to women. After all, it was her first collection for the brand back in 2016 when she made this known through her legendary ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ t-shirts.
Being a woman in 2023 is complicated. What clothes mean for a woman is changing, and with this collection, Chiuri not only shows us how to harness the power of fashion but also how clothes can best support her in the desire to simply exist within impossible social structures. It would be enough if these clothes were just really beautiful clothes, but Chiuri’s unmistakable vision evoked a cooling sense of awe that was much needed.
Source: Prestige Online