The designer opened Paris Fashion Week with a choreographed production of feminism and freedom
For her latest collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri sent a dance inspired assortment of ballerina shoes and flowing tulle gowns down the runway. Here’s everything you need to know about Dior’s SS19 show in Paris.
The Hippodrome de Longchamp, a racecourse on the outskirts of Paris played host to Maria Grazia Chiuri’s sixth ready-to-wear collection for Dior. Conceived by set designer Alexandre de Betak, the pop-up theatre took a team of 60 people two weeks to build. The outside of the set featured quotes by famous dancers including Isadora Duncan and Pina Bausch. Within the 164-metre square space was a pitch-black dance hall, lined with black wooden benches.
As well as Duncan and Bausch, the designer cited “heroines of contemporary dance” Martha Graham, Ruth St. Denis, and Loïe Fuller as inspiration for her SS19 collection. According to show notes, “Christian Dior loved dance, as evidenced by the Dior archives, which contain documents illustrating his extraordinary collaboration with Roland Petit on the ballet Treize Danses, and photos of Margot Fonteyn, the dancer and House client”.
The dance performance
Choreographer Sharon Eyal was tasked with presenting a dance performance that ran in sync with the show. Before any clothes appeared on the runway, two dancers performed underneath rose petals that were falling from the ceiling. As the models emerged, so did more dancers and they criss-crossed through each other’s paths in rhythmic beauty.
Simple and elegant would be the best way to describe the Dior woman come SS19. Opting for a comprehensive vision of multipurpose dancewear, Chiuri sent an array of tulle tutus, floor-skimming skirts, braided ballerina shoes, leotards, flowing sheath dresses and fishnet body stockings down the runway.
Just like any good dancer, models at the Dior show had their hair slicked back and accessorised with a sleek double headband. While Prada opted to bring back the Alice band in all its embellished glory, Dior is making a case for minimalist practicality with its version of headgear come spring.
- Words by Gracie Stewart