July 29, 2021

Christian Dior: fantastic tailoring and “ghost thread”

Translated by

Marguerite Capelle

Published on



Jul 5, 2021

The common thread of the new Christian Dior haute couture collection was precisely… the thread, in its finest expression thanks to remarkable materials and the unique decor designed for the brand’s parade in Paris.

Presented on Monday morning, the inaugural day of the four-day haute couture season in the French capital, this live parade took place under a sumptuous marquee, the walls of which were decorated with a gigantic abstract impressionist installation entitled Silk Room, by artist Eva Jospin.

But for the creative director of the house of Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, the starting point was her reading of Threads of life (“The Sons of Life”), a philosophical essay by the Scottish Clare Hunter, devoted to the influence of fabrics and materials throughout history.

“In this difficult time, it is very important to show solidarity across the world. And I was fascinated by the way the author interprets the role of textiles in many nations and societies, as well as that of all the artisans and little hands who sew, weave and embroider fabrics ”, explained Maria Grazia Chiuri during a preview of the parade.

Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall / Winter 2021-2022 – Photo: Courtesy of Christian Dior – Photo: Courtesy of Christian Dior

Impressionism in all its forms appears in the fabulous fabrics which are the raw material of this fall / winter 2021 collection. With notably striking associations of polyamide mesh interwoven with microcrystals, or even sublime floral patterns in jacquard velvet, created by Bucol in Paris.

But the main fashion idea was the subtle coordination of colors on many looks to wear during the day: a gradient of tweed, knit and speckled gray cashmere, available in a series of bar jackets, peacoats and blazer / cape blends.

Maria Grazia Chiuri likes to offer daytime outfits that are both sophisticated and practical: dozens of looks were completed with tweed rangers cut on the bias. She also plays with coats, made up of panels in contrasting colors and fabrics, including a brilliant creation in the shape of a gray mosaic, which will surely one day become one of the centerpieces of a great fashion museum.

“A big house like Dior should never forget the value of all these talented embroiderers and craftsmen, even though such skills are sometimes discredited, as if they were household arts. This is not the case: these are unique techniques and knowledge transmitted from generation to generation ”, underlined the designer.

Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall / Winter 2021-2022 – Photo: Courtesy of Christian Dior – Photo: Courtesy of Christian Dior

The Italian has gained enough confidence to experiment with Monsieur Dior’s most iconic looks, extending the bar jacket from the torso or lengthening her long skirts, in a modernist take on the New Look.

If the authentic wives of billionaires or princesses of the Gulf are still too rare a clientele on Parisian soil, there is no shortage to report in the front row among movie stars with maximum impact: Jessica Chastain and Cara Delevingne supervised the CEO of Dior, Pietro Beccari.

With 75 passages in total, the parade still fell a little in the middle. Maria Grazia the Stakhanovist must have worn herself out, after having been at the helm of so many successful parades (both commercial and critical). Two weeks ago, she presented a Dior cruise collection in Athens. The week before this haute couture show, she was busy preparing for the next ready-to-wear event, scheduled for October. And it kind of felt like she had turned off the self-censorship button: pruning half a dozen gray variations out of a series that had more than twenty would have been a good idea.

Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall / Winter 2021-2022 – Photo: Courtesy of Christian Dior – Photo: Courtesy of Christian Dior

That being said, Maria Grazia Chiuri has imagined for the evening a set of empire waist chiffon dresses, very beautiful, with trains like most women dream of wearing.

Once again, she cleverly took up the idea of ​​the designer who lasted the longest in the house, Marc Bohan: a 1964 jockey headdress, called the Ludovic.

“Marc Bohan then joined the wave of youth that marked the 60’s, with this witty riding bomb, after years of elaborate floral constructions at Dior”, underlines Stephen Jones, longtime hatter of the house. This headgear in the mind Who Are You Polly Magoo? is sure to launch a massive revival.

It is a true Franco-Italian partnership between the Roman Maria Grazzia Chiuri and the French Eva Jospin, who once studied at Villa Medicis, the French cultural institute in the Italian capital.

During his stay in Rome, the artist was able to visit the Palazzo Colonna and discover its remarkable Embroidery Room, whose walls are all adorned with fabric panels.

The massive painting that Eva Jospin finally created for Dior referred to a slew of artists as well as their works: from Turner’s maritime landscapes to the gardens of Bonnard, through the ancient ruins of Robert or the landscapes of Vuillard.

Sewn and re-embroidered for the most part in India, Silk room is a giant work of around a hundred meters in length, produced by Dior, and which provided a perfect backdrop to the house’s latest haute couture creations. Silk room will now remain in the form of an installation for six days, in the garden of the Rodin Museum.

Eva Jospin is due to present her next exhibition in Giverny, temple of Impressionism and home of Claude Monet. A potential next step for this gigantic new work.

Christian and Claude would certainly have approved.

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