PFW AW18: Christian Dior

THE year is 1968 and revolutionary spirits are high. Feminism is at its peak and fashion is the new language of protest. With the 1968 Paris protests in mind, the Christian Dior show was a visual reminder of the history of equal rights and how far we still have to go.

With an impressive eye-catching collage of 3,000 posters as the backdrop to the AW18 collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director of Christian Dior, returned to the Musée Rodin with a statement. With the help of set designer Alexandre de Betak the stage paid homage to the 50th anniversary of the Paris youth revolts where the structure and morals of society were brought into question.

With posters featuring women with placards stating Mini Skirts FOREVER and I AM WOMAN, the AW18 collection exuded empowerment and was a new turn for the design house. Berets were transformed into Baker Boy hats, a gentle nod to the 1960s era it was referencing, mini skirts were reintroduced, and the history of Miss Dior, the ready-to-wear store that opened in 1967 and broke the boundaries of bespoke atelier fittings, was embroidered into the clothing.

Although slogan tops were still a feature, the written message was far simpler and clean. Celebrating the immense impact 1968, as well as Miss Dior, had on female fashion choices the collection included an abundance of sheer material that showed off the female form. Intricate lacy underwear was seen throughout the show, silhouettes were flattering, and the use of chiffon was suggestive.

To juxtapose the femininity of the collection military-style jackets, heavy boots and tailored suits were introduced into the show. The patchwork detail in denim, cotton, and lace was a thing of perfection. Tiny details, such as the words Peace and Love that was hand beaded onto bags, showed incredible craftsmanship.

Clashing prints were used in delicate fabrics and met in harmony. Maria Grazia Chiuri, and the AW18 Christian Dior collection challenged today’s society, especially the new generation, to keep pushing for change. Providing the AW18 collection as a tool to achieve such change, the show embodied power dressing in its historic and modern form.

by Lily Rimmer

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