A new generation of independent and impeccably dressed women take centrestage in Dior’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection.
Maria Grazia Chiuri is not interested in just designing cocktail dresses for her customers. Since she took over Dior as creative director in 2016, her goal was always to inject a sense of confidence to the women who wears her designs. “Women should feel confident every day, not just in special moments,” she said in an interview to Vogue.com.
It’s no easy task when you’re honoured with the title of the first female creative director of a revered French luxury brand. Chiuri is slowly, but surely infusing not just her fashion aesthetic, but her life beliefs into the 73-year-old year old fashion house.
Even before the #timesup movement flooded the media in 2018, Chiuri, in her debut Spring/Summer 2017 Dior show, was already rallying for the recognition and empowerment of women with a collection that was unapologetically feminine and feminist. Slogan T-shirts that screamed “We Should All Be Feminists” (inspired from the book title of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s compilation of personal essays), became instant bestsellers and cemented Chiuri as the designer championing the rising power of women in a loud and proud fashion.
Compared to her kick-off season at Dior in 2016, this season’s collection was quieter — but it was no less pervasive. Chiuri chose dance as her anchor stating her objective in the show notes: “Dance and fashion define the body and, through discipline, teach us to own it.” And while some pieces like the draped or pleated goddess dresses in tulle evoked a dreamlike ballerina persona, she also illustrated how these alluringly feminine looks could be worn on a regular basis. Some winning combinations include the bodysuit-and-printed summer silk dress ensemble, and a tulle skirt paired with an oversized denim jacket colour-washed in this spring’s trendy neutral shade — all paired with classic ballerina pumps complete with lace-up ribbons.
Chiuri acknowledges that for a brand like Dior, luxury is all about persevering the craftsmanship and quality, but it is also her wish that the brand stays very close-knitted to its women so they feel strongly represented.
She’s fully aware that though these women, especially the millennials with the big spending power, want to be part of the brand, they also want to be exercise their personal style and eccentricities freely. Which is why she’s an advocate when it comes to mixing and matching the individual pieces in her collections — all this in her bid to make Dior “connected to contemporary society”.
This season, Chiuri introduced jersey for the first time. Draped and designed into pleated neo-Grecian dresses, jersey is infinitely more practical and wearable (though less inferior), than silk. In fact, the introduction of jersey and the continuation of denim separates are a testimony that Chiuri is designing her collections with varying options for that young and modern Dior woman. She’s someone who wears Dior on weekdays and weekends, whether it’s to the supermarket or to the Governor’s ball.
There were plenty of everyday hits Chiuri had proposed for Spring and she’s on point with most of the season’s trends in this collection. There were tie-dye trousers, an acid wash jean jacket and chic neutrals by way of a floral Mackintosh coat — guaranteed to be mainstays in your wardrobe. There was also a strong utilitarian theme that added a layer of toughness to the otherwise ethereally feminine looks. The “CD” logo belts worn with the dark blue tailored jackets will be on the waist of every street style star in the upcoming fashion weeks just like the utilitarian cross-body signature Saddle bags that Chiuri revived upon her arrival at Dior.
All in all, a stellar collection made by a woman for women.
All images courtesy of Dior.