“The experience of dance, its most intimate truth, the fact that it is a means of universal expression and the radicalism of the gestures of contemporary dance have all stimulated my imagination,” stated Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri in the show notes for Dior’s Ready-to-Wear Spring-Summer 2019 Collection.
Known for championing women’s empowerment, this season Chiuri celebrates heroines of contemporary dance: Loïe Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth Saint Denis, Martha Graham and Pina Bausch. These dancers have, each in their own way, shaken up the established codes to develop a new idea of the beauty of the body in motion – in a new perspective. The dynamic work of these artists was a starting point for the inspiration for the collection.
The romance of dance is in the DNA of Dior. Christian Dior loved dance, as evidenced by the Dior archives, which contain documents illustrating his amazing collaboration with Roland Petit on the ballet Treize Danses, and photos of Margot Fonteyn, who was both prima ballerina and a House client.
“I think dance and fashion are very close, for they both speak about the body,” said Chiuri, who “wanted to speak about dance with a different point of view”. She took her cues from modern choreographers who express freedom. That sense of freedom in modern dance is translated into a new outlook for traditional ballerina silhouettes. Chiuri removed constricting corsets, bones and underwires, as well as stiff fabrication. Instead, she opted for jerseys,
silks and soft tulles. These were cut, draped, pleated or layered in an organic, flowing manner.
Exuding a “Madame Grès–meets–Martha Graham” mood, the collection is dominated with swishy dresses that exude neo-grecian elements, in a relaxed fit-and-flare silhouttes. The handicraft trend this season is very much explored in this collection with seventies-era crochet to fisherman weaves to folksy beadwork to macramé appliqué, seen on various dresses.
Sparkly embroidery and lace accents also decorate some of the dresses, especially for a more glamorous touch. Tie-dye technique is also greatly applied on various fashion items and accessories, from bags to shoes. Along with the tie-dye motif, Shiburi scarf prints and floral prints are also offered though in a more abstract style.
A line-up of jackets and coats, worn with skirts or pants, and sometimes worn over dresses, are also offered. With a strong cut, these belted jackets add an edge, while making perfect sense when paired with the voluminous skirts.
While the spring/summer season can be the right time for bright colours, Chiuri opted for a more controlled colour palette. Black, grey, white and beige are the colours most seen in the collection. There are splashes of olive green, muted yellows and shades of navy, all melt together in unison. If there is any standouts, it come from the aforementioned tie-dye and floral motifs, and from the artisanal handiwork decorating the looks.
For accessories, the leather goods continued Dior’s favourite hits. The bags, many worn cross-body style on the runway, included new variations of icons such as the Lady Dior and the Diorama. The Saddle bag, this season, also comes as a belt bag and clutch. Messenger bags are also offered aplenty, many in Dior’s Oblique canvas. For footwear, functional sneakers are offered along with gorgeous strappy heels. The stand-out shoe in the collection is the plexi-heeled wedge with nude braided ribbon from foot to ankle, which almost gives the illusion of doing a ballerina’s pointe technique.
Celebrating the beauty of dance and freedom of expression, the Dior Spring/Summer 2019 collection is something that delightfully captures a powerful and winning spirit.