- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
At the Musée Rodin, on a frigid cold Jan. 23 with highs in the 30s, the House of Dior unveiled their Spring Summer 2023 Haute Couture collection.
In a packed room of celebrities, buyers, media, top clients, and friends of the brand, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri unveiled a sartorial story inspired by American singer Josephine Baker. It was a presentation that paid homage to the breaking of racial barriers, which artist Mickalene Thomas sought to capture in the show’s staging. The room was surrounded by large images on the walls of Baker and other icons from Dorothy Dandridge, Eartha Kitt and Nina Simone to pianist Hazel Scott and models Naomi Sims and Donyale Luna.
Sitting front row were film director Baz Luhrmann and his Oscar-award winning costume and producer designer wife Catherine Martin. The Elvis director said of the collection, “It was elegant and glamorous and beautiful. The designs in the collection are a part of the DNA of modern fashion and it’s good to see the house tapping into that.”
The Menu star Anya Taylor-Joy, who is a global brand ambassador for the house and wore Dior to the recent Critic’s Choice Awards and the Golden Globes, told The Hollywood Reporter, “I loved the collection. I hadn’t heard anything about it before I came in and the second I saw Eartha Kitt I got really excited, I was not disappointed. The Josephine Baker references were beautiful, it’s a fun collection.”
Many creations in the new collection are inspired by Baker as well as her cozy and intimate dressing room where she stayed before going on stage. The first look was a lingerie bodysuit with a long silk velvet robe. In some ways, these intimate looks are very un-Dior like, but Chiuri really went there. One stand-out was a slate gray dry-handle wool coat over ecru satin blouse and pleated skirt in silk shantung with chain print, while embroidery on coats brings vitality to textiles. “The suits and coats pay tribute to the masculine fabrics dear to Monsieur Dior, stated the house in show notes.
Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi, one of Dior’s beauty ambassadors, was also taken by the nod to Baker. The actress wore a Baker-inspired look by Dior to the Met Gala in 2021. “I loved it,” she said of the collection. “My last big collaboration with Dior … was an ode to Josephine Baker at The Met, so it was so beautiful to see … how the house continues to look towards and be inspired by Black women.” Shahidi also noted the fashion house’s historical association with Baker. “Their history of supporting Baker during her actual tour and clothing her at the time shows they have a very real lineage with her work and it makes it so exciting,” she said.
Other notable stars in attendance were The Crown’s Elizabeth Debicki, Catherine Deneueve, Maisie Williams, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, Mission Impossible’s Rebecca Ferguson, Rachel Zegler, Rosamund Pike, Isabelle Adjani, Bianca Jagger and former French First Lady Carla Bruni.
In show notes, the fashion house elaborated on the choice of Baker as inspiration: “The photographs of Baker, whose energy is emphasized by their black and white tonality, compose a form of sartorial biography (capturing her as a dancer, entertainer, member of the French Resistance, civil rights activist for the African-Americans, humanist and universal benefactress), the exemplary story of a pioneers.”
Paris Haute Couture week for the SS23 season carries on through Jan. 26.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day