Dior is one of the largest and most influential fashion houses today. Founded by Christian Dior in 1947, the brand is trademarked by its opulence, fantasy and femininity.
Since Christian Dior’s passing the fashion house has seen seven different creative directors and now is on their eighth. Dior has had strictly male directors, until this last year when Raf Simons left to pursue his own brand.
Maria Grazia Chiuri was announced as the new director for Dior in 2016. Chiuri is an Italian designer who previously co-designed for the brand Valentino. Chuiri has been a very controversial designer, most people including myself love the idea of a woman at the head of Dior, but Chuiri might not be the right woman for the job.
New York fashion week, was Sept. 28 to Oct. 5th. It featured Dior’s’ newest ready to wear collection for spring 2018. The collection featured leather barrettes, tulle skirts, bodysuits and influence from seemingly every decade. The collection gave off a striped Halloween nightmare vibe, accompanied by multiple prints of dinosaurs (or possibly Godzilla). Chiuri was big on experimenting with prints this season, this included a print of Adele crying, why? I couldn’t tell you.
The collection was also heavily influenced by the current ‘70’s trend, featuring patchwork denim and lace trimmed dress’. We also saw a bit of ‘80’s influence in Chiuris’ full neoprene jumpsuit. The ‘90’s also makes an appearance in the checkered trendy print featured in numerous looks. Basically, the collection had a little bit of everything making it looks less like a collection from Dior and more like a scrapbook.
One of my favorite and least favorite pieces was a t-shirt with the words “Why have there been no great women artists?” printed across it. We all see what she was going for, it was a very feminist statement meant to empower women, especially female artists. While I agree with this sentiment and love the idea, it shouldn’t have been sent down the runway. Dior doesn’t make t-shirts, not even for a ready to wear collection. Chiuri seems to have her mind set on infusing her feminist views into Diors identity, on one hand, a very admirable goal; on the other a very lofty and possibly unachievable mission.
The one thing this collection didn’t have? A revamping of the “new look”, a Dior trademark silhouette created by Dior himself. This was very disappointing to me because in her past year at Dior Chiuri has not yet revived this silhouette. The neglect of the new look and her un-cohesive collection have led me to the conclusion that Chiuri does not know what she’s doing. Of course, the collection isn’t terrible, it just isn’t Dior. Chiuri doesn’t seem to understand what Dior is, it’s an established brand with a few foundational traits that have been ignored.
While I love to see women at the top in the fashion industry and know a woman could be amazing as the creative director of Dior (and other fashion houses), Chiuri is not the woman for this job.