The Dior fall/winter 2018 show left us angry, happy, confused, excited and frightened at the same time
Peace, love and revolution
They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. Whoever, they are, they're right. Stepping into the Christian Dior fall/winter 2018 show venue meant to feel like travelling through a time capsule. On all four walls were collages of pictures and magazine covers from the archives. Strips of vintage Elle and Harper's Bazaar joined the medley of 1960s women's rights protest images. "Women's rights are human rights" slogans in font size a thousand could be seen from every angle. Nostalgia didn't come; anger however, made an appearance. Maria Grazia Chiuri wants us to remind us that women's rights have only barely progressed in the last 60 years. Google Women March edition 2017 and 2018 for further proof.
Resurfaced was also the Mini Skirts Forever protest that broke outside the Dior boutique in 1966. The women from the British Society for the Protection of Mini Skirts (we're not making this up) picketed the streets, calling out the absence of the garment from Dior's then RTW after Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin and Mary Quant furthered women's liberation by showing it at theirs. As "redemption" of sorts, Dior sent out bare legs after bare legs — by way of mini skirts in patchwork denim, mixed media quilt, sparsely knit fringed crochet and suede intarsia bearing whimsical motifs. All is forgiven.
Sure, the opening look of monochromatic sweater with elongated sleeves (a trend we've spotted in Milan too), madras wool skirt and leather boots with red welts made sense for fall and winter. The sheer appliqued blouses, ruffled crotch crew neck taffeta dresses, cotton muslin empire waist Little House on the Prairie cover-ups and sparsely knitted crochet numbers (more on them later), most of which worn with clear colourful shades, make for an intriguing, if not baffling choice for the cooler months. Is Grazia Chiuri finally realising that many of her loyal customers don't live in seasonal countries?
Things we love: the aforementioned black and white sweater that read "it's a no, no, no and no!" in French, the mixed media Eastern quilt with eyelet collars that photographed beautifully, the D buckle belts poised to cinch many a street style star, and that one psychedelic Milky Way frock. To them we say, "It's a yes, yes, yes and yes!"
We won't be the first to say it: crochet is hard to sell. And it's going to be that much harder to sell it when the temperature plummets. But if there's any house that can bring the granny staple back into limelight and make it trendy again, it's Dior. In Grazia Chiuri's defence, hers are no old-fashioned drab. Lively nitid yarns in fuchsia, ultraviolet (but of course), and burnt orange knitted their way to the runway, finished with on-the-pulse fringing. We're warming up to it — and for the sake of the house's bottom line, here's hoping her fans will too.
All coverage from Paris Fashion Week fall/winter 2018.