Maria Grazia Chiuri’s latest outing for Christian Dior took place at Longchamp Racecourse, a hippodrome thirty minutes west of central Paris. It wasn’t a continuation of the pre-season collection she delivered in May at a grand stable in Chantilly, this was an entirely new canon about dance.
(A quote from German dancer Pina Bausch was scribbled on the white tent which held the show. Israeli choreographer Sharon Eyal created a spectacular ballet performance to accompany the show. It was poetic but, ultimately, distracting from the clothes.)
The clothes didn’t quite get there. They were largely uninteresting, replete with obvious balletic influences. They lacked a desirable, discernible bite. She rendered everything in drab neutral tones. The paler the palette got it felt like a cloudy day when the sun was trying to break through. She nearly got there. The success stories were the Bar jackets updates. Shown in a variety of fabrics, they were styled down, giving Dior that air of accessibility she’s desperately trying to achieve. It was modern, especially styled with that sublime printed denim. Those even looked effortlessly youthful, a far cry from that matronly dourness at the haute couture presentation in July.
Chiuri’s Dior has been marked by inconsistency and a forced desire to spotlight veritable feminist iconoclasts. The references to women in history--notwithstanding their incredible accomplishments and history’s tendency to shadow them in favour of male canons--feel too obvious. She’s slowly fine-tuning the art of subtlety with the clothes. Now it’s time to bring the whole thing together.
Christian Dior Photo Credit: Vogue Runway
Simon Porte Jacquemus, the fashion industry’s darling-of-the-moment, should consider cultivating new territory for himself. Under the afternoon sun, his procession of Riviera-ready chic strut to traditional music in shades of white, navy, cerise and melon. Since childhood, he’s “fantasised about Italy, the Cote d’Azur, the Riviera.” He offered more bike shorts, extra skimpy, perfect for bronzing on a yacht; bikinis and shirt dresses, and ample décolletage.
Jacquemus, who brought you this summer’s oversized sun hat trend, succumbed to the temptation of an Instagram moment with the latest addition to his accessories range: an oversized straw hat beach bag. Expect to see your Instagram feed bombarded with images of it once vacation season commences.
It read Kardashian Summer Vacation more than the unique blend of sophisticated sexuality he struck gold with back in September 2017. It was a narrow-minded portrayal of women's bodies, forcing them into exclusively impossibly thin categories.
He's done it before, one has faith he can make us swoon again.
Alessandro Michele’s Gucci is almost comical at this point. What gobbledygook will he come up with this time around? What ‘radical,’ Bowie-esque proposition will he come up with? Will he bedeck men in feathers and sequins or diamonds and fringe? Will women be enshrouded in sheaths of tulle or layers of silk? Are they Cher die-hards or Thatcherites? Is this how you adapt the grandiosity of the 18th century for a contemporary audience? You could ask yourself any of those questions if you quickly scan the Spring 2019 imagery.
Michele chose Le Palace, a theatre and storied former nightclub in the 9th arrondissement.
Jane Birkin crooned while Faye Dunaway and other Gucci-clad Micheleites, such as South Korean pop star Kai Jong-in (who attracted hordes of teenage followers outside, waiting impatiently the venue), watched on with feverish anticipation to see the next foppish man, dressed in either 70s-influenced suiting, snakeskin or sparkly pink trousers, and denim corsets, or fay women attired in a selection of Crayola brights, feather embroidery, and emerald silks.
If this was the 1970s--which it isn’t, I might interject--surely these characters would be partaking in illicit activities, smoking an unholy amount of cigarettes, and ‘boogieing’ to their heart’s content. It’s fitting the show took place in a theatre because the end product is veering too far from practicality and, right now, that's becoming the biggest flaw in his grand plan.