In Need Of A Distraction? Couture Week Has Kicked Off With Dior’s Breathtakingly Beautiful Dresses Leave a comment


How to make sense of this moment in fashion? How to make sense of the world right now? Maria Grazia Chiuri has never shied away from the news cycle or zeitgeist. And for her latest virtual couture show, in the form of a 15-minute film directed by Matteo Garrone, she’s exploring existential questions in a collection dedicated to tarot, with 45 gilded, regal looks crafted in tribute to a range of mystical characters.

Dior

Dior Couture SS21 ©Dior

Tarot readings have risen in popularity among millennials and members of Gen Z looking to find clarity in these pandemic times. And Chiuri has been known to sprinkle astrological motifs throughout her work. So, in a way the collection feels like a natural progression. ‘Christian Dior was very interested in tarot,’ she explained of her introduction to the practice during a Zoom call after the show. ‘And in this moment, I think we are very lost in our personal life. Myth and magic can help us have hope for the future.’

Dior

Dior Couture SS21 ©Dior

Mentally, it can be hard to bridge the gap between utility and beauty during a time when our day-to-day wardrobes look more pragmatic then ever. Where does couture fit in, in a world in which we’re quarantined to our homes? Chiuri said she wanted to explore the idea of tarot as a ‘fairytale’ going big on the fantastical and romantic with medieval empire waist dresses. These are clothes in which to escape the reality of track pants and news alerts — dresses that remind you of the promise of a brighter future. The dream-like film advanced a similar sense of the magical that she explored last summer in the video for her autumn 20 couture collection, which was also directed by Garrone, and carried through with her ready-to-wear.

Dior

Dior Couture SS21 ©Dior

At the time, it was her first ‘virtual’ showing of couture in lockdown and as a result she had to think of creative ways to bring the collection to Dior’s clients, women who are accustomed to attending the show in person and then booking appointments afterward to touch and feel the clothes up close. ‘The film is the best way to express the dream of couture, but not the best way to show the collection,’ she said.

As a solution, she sent dolls dressed in miniature Dior couture looks to the house’s clients all over the world. This season, she’ll do the same.

The takeaway: The dress, which dominated the spring/summer 21 ready to wear collections, makes a big return with couture. Consider it the reprieve from sweatpants we all need.

Chanel

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CREDIT: Chanel

Unable to stage an extravaganza, Virginie Viard decided instead to create something much more intimate akin to a family celebration or even a wedding. For Chanel’s fashion film, directed by Anton Corbijn, the models appeared in a small cortege, walking underneath blossom-covered arches in the Grand Palais. ‘I love big family reunions, when the generations all come together. It’s so warm. There’s this spirit at Chanel today. Because Chanel is also like a family,’ said Viard.

Giambattista Valli

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CREDIT: @giambattistavalliparis

When it comes to spectacle and gowns that have real swoosh, Giambattista Valli is always one of the most hotly-anticipated shows on the couture schedule. Yesterday’s video was no exception. Models wearing the most breath-taking dresses, with hair that blossomed with bows and flowers, twirled next to a dancer. ‘The presence of the dancer embodies the idea of a messenger of Olympus who seeks to unveil memories, new emotions and spirits in the soul of the Valli creature,’ read the show notes.

Iris Van Herpen

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CREDIT: @irisvanherpen

Iris Van Herpen found inspiration from the natural world for her spring couture collection, partnering with Parley for the Oceans, an organisation that raises awareness about the beauty and fragility of our oceans, to use recycled plastics for the first time. Speaking to Vogue, Van Herpen said that the quality of sustainable materials is now so good that it’s a matter of making the decision to switch: ‘Basically, there’s not a lot of reason not to use sustainable materials anymore, other than changing your mindset,’ she says.

Schiaparelli

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CREDIT: Schiaparelli

For his third couture collection for Schiaprelli, Daniel Roseberry wanted to pay homage to the tradition of couture, while also exploding the clichés associated with the genre by introducing silhouettes and garments like bomber jackets and trousers. A a great innovator and technician, Elsa Schiaparelli made garments that, according to show notes, ‘celebrate the joy of peacocking, the joy of showing off’. Roseberry’s ab-tastic corsets, and his padlock-shaped minaudière, are surely a tribute to that kind of show-boating ingenuity.



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