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Sitting front row during Dior’s autumn-winter 2023 women’s ready-to-wear collection unveiled in Paris today were house ambassadors Charlize Theron and Blackpink’s Jisoo, joined by names including Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Gal Gadot, Thuso Mbedu, Maisie Williams, Alexandra Daddario, The Last of Us’ Bella Ramsey, Elle Macpherson and actress Heart Evangelista.
Theron wowed in a beaded, flapper-style cream silk dress worn with a long black coat and Dior’s Urban-D combat boots, while Jisoo shined in a vibrant purple Dior dress.
Titled Valkyrie Miss Dior, the show was a nod to house founder Christian Dior’s sister Catherine Dior, who was a hero of the French resistance to Nazi occupation in World War II and, later in life, a florist and flower farmer.
The second-most fascinating thing about the collection was the set design of massive floral textile structures throughout the runway space.
“The décor was beyond amazing, you never see that kind of thing,” said model and author Maye Musk after the show. “The show was very beautiful and filled with looks that you can actually wear, which is really ready-to-wear. I liked how they mixed the textures and the different patterns they used. The fashion was inspired by the ’50s, and I think I’m the only one here that knows the ’50s. I made my own clothes in those days to be fashionable, so it was a blast from the past.”
The house’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, paid tribute to iconic maverick women from the 1950s — not only Catherine Dior but also singers Edith Piaf and Juliette Gréco. “Singular protagonists, each of them was able, through their lifestyle, to subvert feminine stereotypes that were part of the post-war mindset,” said the house in show notes. For Chiuri, these three women are a real-life version of Valkyries, the combative Norse deities who served the god Odin.
Many of the looks were monotone, but floral motifs were a main driver. Mottled fabric was shown entwined with a metallic thread that breathes life into the fabric, making it pliable and giving way to an abstract effect. Chiuri’s use of primary colors of ruby, emerald, topaz yellow and blue were poignant in the colorful, textured collection. Textiles like delicate, nuanced tartan were worn under coats; and poplin glistened against metallic thread.
Chiuri — who typically partners with a female artist for the set design of her shows — this time chose to work with Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, who, according to Dior, “created a proliferation of organic forms interacting with the architecture” in designing the striking backdrop that paid homage to inspiring feminine icons.
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