Inspired by 1960s rebellion, Maria Grazia Chiuri used the runway to make a statement.
Female empowerment has always been central to Maria Grazia Chiuri’s collections for Christian Dior, and now, in her fourth season with the storied French brand, the Italian-born designer continues to use the runway as a platform for feminism.
This season, Chiuri drew from the 1968 protest in Paris, when students and nine million strikers fought against antiquated ideologies about women, class, and politics. The protest fought for change—something that still resonates now, especially as the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements gain momentum.
Models walked down a set completely collaged with posters, women’s magazine tear sheets from 1968, and feminist slogans including “Women’s rights are human rights.” Ruth Bell opened the show with a slogan knit stating, “C’est non, non, non et non,” setting the tone for strength and rebellion. Gone are Chiuri’s sheer romantic ballerina-length dresses and branded kitten heels; in their place were kilts in varying lengths with matching jackets, ponchos, long tulle skirts with lace detailing worn with masculine wool jackets, and heavily embroidered maxi-dresses. Footwear was strong and practical: thigh-high boots with stacked heels and clogs—perfect for stomping through the streets of Paris with the brand’s iconic saddle bags in tow. Patchwork was seen on jackets, dresses, and mini-skirts paired with buttery leather moto jackets. Denim, a traditionally working-class fabric and a favorite of Chiuri’s, came in various guises from patchwork coats to cropped pants with embroidered detailing. Hemlines were noticeably shorter this season, and this gave nod to the 1966 protest outside the Dior boutique in Paris, when women held signs demanding “Mini Skirts Forever.”
All the models wore peak caps by Stephen Jones and oversized sunglasses. Makeup artist Peter Philips matched the liner with the eyewear using Diorshow On Stage Liner—a new series of brightly hued liners—while keeping the faces fresh and bare. Hairstylist Guido kept the hair smooth under the hats.
Check out the slideshow ahead for backstage photos and runway shots, as well as the inspirations behind hair and makeup.
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