SINCE being appointed the first female creative director of Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has refocussed the brand as for women by women – from feminist slogans on t-shirts to a podcast series during lockdown that featured strong females that inspired her.
Understanding the need for clothing that doesn’t just look beautiful, but is also comfortable and practical, the creative director has focused on bringing these three qualities to each collection. However, now designing for a different world as our lives have been transformed from hectic to home, the need for comfort over couture has been heightened.
Over the past couple of weeks, it has become evident that designers have had to change their approach to fashion. Yes there has been fantasy, but there is also a stark reality too.
The world has changed and so are the clothes that we are wearing. Just like Monsieur Dior altered the way women dressed in 1947, Maria Grazia Chiuri has taken into consideration how women may now want to dress in her SS21 collection.
Far from small waists, accentuated hips and a-line skirts, trousers and a shirt have become the new uniform of the Dior woman. Chiuri is not a foreigner to womenswear, she understands her customers and what they want to consume. In a time of Zoom calls and dinners limited to six (in the UK at least), women want clothes that translate from day-to-night with ease.
The SS21 collection made it clear that it is possible to have casual clothes that give the impression of more formal attire – noting, that tight-fitting silhouettes are very much a thing of the past.
Bringing the collection to life in the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, the park area was transformed into a Dior cathedral by Italian visual artist Lucia Marcucci – who deeply inspired the creative director when she made the SS21 collection.
The backdrop to the runway, entitled Vetrata di poesi
The depictions inside the windows were images and text found from a variety of media outlets and adverts arranged in an aesthetically pleasing manner to enhance the collection that was being presented in front of it.
Here in our UK exclusive, you can have a closer look at Marcucci’s set:
In the same way Marcucci merged images and text together, Maria Grazia Chiuri used patchwork with her use of fabric. Paisley and florals were seen among intricate lace detailing on dresses and trousers proving that simplicity does win in the end.
Reinventing the traditional man’s shirt but for women in the Dior style, introduces tunics and shirt-dresses to the collection but all accompanied with trousers or shorts for ease of wear for daily lives.
What Maria Grazia Chiuri does so well each season is to understand the needs for all women, young and old. This collection is made up from individual pieces through layering and accessorising that fits the new narrative in our lives so well. This is not about introducing something new to us, but rather reinventing what we already know.
She may not have revolutionised the way women dress today in the way Monsieur Dior did, but for a house known for its couture, Chiuri sure did make her mark in Dior’s history with this collection.
by Imogen Clark