Maria Grazia Chiuri for the Dior Fall Winter 2023 collection describes a woman with the strength and determination of post-war icons, but characterized by a contemporary bon ton style: the designer uses each season as an opportunity to explore the essence and the role of clothing in relation with the body and the evolution of fashion. Starting with a reinterpretation of the 1950s, the history of the French Maison is once again celebrated on the runway, deepening into three extraordinary personalities who were significant to Christian Dior, his sister Catherine, Juliette Gréco and Édith Piaf. Three women who shared a strong spirit of independence that guided their clothes throughout their lives: each of them was able to subvert the female stereotype that was part of the rigid mentality of the post-war period. Particularly with Miss Dior, the memory of her brother, who always recognized her as an emblem of strength and freedom, emerges. Chiuri admires her determination and the way she made the Resistance her mission, taking her life as a fighter as the entire inspiration for the collection and transforming it into garments that are strong and fragile at the same time.
“I think of three women who played a leading role in Mr. Dior’s life and in French culture:
Catherine Dior, Juliette Gréco and Édith Piaf.”
Miss Dior’s flowers return to the runway reinterpreted on crumpled and rebellious cloths thanks to the metallic threads woven into them. The fabric dances and creates movements such that it appear alive, like Catherine’s memory, which throughout the show remains imprint in the audience’s imaginary. The garments revisit the Maison’s archive using primary colors: ruby, emerald, topaz yellow, and blue color midi dresses, leather trench coats, and padded and quilted jackets. The looks express a sophisticated French essence, emphasized in the checked sets, cinched waists, and wide corolla skirts. Embroideries create shades of light that make the silhouette elegant and sinuous, creating a meeting point between new technologies and the majesty of couture. White shirts, as the first look suggests, are worn slightly unbuttoned or with a tie, paired with a dark pencil skirt and a pair of leather gloves, outlining a classy figure with clean lines. Maria Grazia Chiuri works on the collection by making everything lighter, as the Italian DNA suggests her: the keen eye for elegance has over the years approached Dior’s typically French character, creating a conversation between the two. The words of Édith Piaf’s iconic song, which conclude the show, can be found embroidered on T-shirts that scream “Je ne reggete rien”, emphasizing the rebellious character “of the most pop image of the French culture.” Those women, with no regrets, are the example for those the designer addresses today, incorporating strong elements such as leather jacket, use of animalier pattern and combat boots within the looks. Midi lengths leave light stockings uncovered and pumps with platforms and ankle straps, while the Caro bag, from the abbreviation of Catherine’s name used as a code during the Resistance years, returns to the runway again this season. The memory of three such strong and courageous women seems to walk alongside the models, surrounded by the majestic installations entitled Valkyrie Miss Dior and created by the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. Dior’s collection for the coming season is romantic, mixed with a strong attitude to encourage and uplift the spirit of women today. The clean, understated looks celebrate the kaleidoscopic image of a femininity designed by powerful icons, suggesting emotional paths to new generations, shaping garments according to our future.
“It was also a way to think about myself. Because in my house, my mother and grandmother were independent women.”