All Our Favorite Models Were Backstage at Dior’s Spring ’18 Show

Maria Grazia Chiuri continues to make a bold feminist statement.

By: Samantha Tse
Photography: Molly SJ Lowe

For Maria Grazia Chiuri’s third ready-to-wear collection for Dior, the designer continued to draw from female artists to explore notions of femininity and female power. This season, the designer referenced the late French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle, whose large, multi-colored sculptures of women are part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

With each season, Chiuri continually redefines the modern Dior woman. While the storied French brand is synonymous with voluminous gowns and the Bar jacket, Chiuri has focused her vision less on a fantasy and more on the everyday woman with daywear and denim. She has re-introduced the slogan t-shirt into the Dior vernacular, opening the show with a striped Breton with “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” emblazoned across the chest, giving a nod to art historian Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay. Chiuri has also taken the vertiginous heel favored by John Galliano and replaced them with flats in all iterations—from mesh boots to square-toe ballet shoes with delicate ties across the foot and on the ankle.

The collection referenced De Saint Phalle’s drawings of snakes, dinosaurs, and spiders, which found their way embroidered onto jumpers and dresses, and the artist’s mirror mosaic pieces, which were seen throughout the collection on shimmering bustier dresses and glittering mini-dresses, as well as the mirrored show space.

Click on the slideshow to see our backstage coverage of the Christian Dior spring/summer 2018 collection.

“We have a ’60s girl in makeup inspired by Niki de Saint Phalle, so we went for the big, fat lashes. To get the contemporary look, we went for a very natural skin. Once you do too much skin, it becomes very dull. We went for a very natural skin,” said Peter Philips, creative and image director for Dior Makeup.

“So, the hair here is super simple again, very feminine,” said lead hairstylist Guido. “I’m taking my curling iron and putting a little texture in, then pulling the center section back. So it’s quite childlike in a way, but it’s like childlike in one way but kind of sophisticated in another way.”

“I really smear it on and I make a mess because it’s important that you do mascara, a look like this, that you cover the lashes from roots to ends,” said Philips.

“I used the new Forever Undercover foundation, then lashes, top and bottom, with Pump and Volume mascara and really layered it for really fat lashes, black kohl line in the eye, and that’s it.”

“The collection is based on artist Niki de Saint Phalle, and she was someone who was childlike apparently, and all her life she kept this innocence. So, we were talking about that, and then this very childlike idea of how we do the hair,” said Guido.

“There are about 40 percent of the girls wearing hats, but I’m just going to do their hair and they can put their hat on. You still have the same kind of structure,” explained Guido.

“Even though we did the hair early, we let it drop so it feels a little lived in. So it feels innocent. I don’t want it to feel like the curling iron has been in there.”

“I like to heat up the kohl liner with a lighter, then I just push on the root of the lashes, let the heat work, and then I hold my finger against the lashes to hold them up till they cool down and they stand up,” explained Philips.

“Heating the kohl liner makes it more intense and it stays longer.”

“Girls that have got short hair, we’re keeping their hair. Girls that have got coarse texture, or curls, we’re keeping that personality but doing the same shape,” said Guido.

“The brows are enhanced very naturally, but only to fill in the gaps,” said Philips. “It’s not really a brow statement.”

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