Revealed in the closing minutes of Part I of Channel 4’s latest fashion documentary, Inside Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri becomes the first female Creative Director of international fashion brand, House of Dior.
Part II follows Grazia on her 10-week journey as she prepares for her big debut. With her first collection set to showcase at Musée Rodin, she stays true to the brand’s 70 year old heritage and Parisian roots. The backdrop is romantic and enchanting.
Grazia turns towards the camera to tell us that she loves fairy tales. She has drawn inspiration for S/S 17 from star signs, superstition and magic. Her style retains the elegance of those of her predecessors including Christian Dior himself and other former Chief Designers, Galliano, Saint Laurent, Simons and Ferre. But alongside tulle dresses, delicate embroidery and floral appliqué, Grazia adds a twist. Although we don’t see it in the original documentary, we later learn that one of the models at the show is wearing a t-shirt with a bold, political statement that reflects common sentiment within today’s millennial market. “We should all be feminists” it reads, the slogan of author and activist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Maria Grazia feels strongly about gender equality and women’s rights. Her very first pieces for Dior have also been inspired by sport, fencing. They represent the need to be agile, nimble and swift to defend oneself against the challenges of being a carer with a career.
The mental toughness required of the Gen-Y woman remains a consistent theme in A/W 17. In Grazia’s newer collection, almost every single model dons a military-style, leather beret. She incorporates denim and PUL, durable, resistant textures of utility workers. Her colour palette of black and navy evoke imagery reminiscent of a dark sea and a sense of mystery, and finally the glamour of the velvet suit leads us to believe that this clothing must belong to a luxury woman of labour.
The new Dior by Maria Grazia masterfully redefines femininity as empathy and strength and Inside Dior subtly offered us the first look at this legacy.
Inside Dior is available to watch now on 4oD.