26 January 2018

Dior Spring/Summer 18 Haute Couture Report, Backstage, & Savoir-Faire


Dior
‘s Spring/Summer 2018 Haute Couture, Artistic Director Maria Grazia Chiuri drew inspiration from the Surrealist art movement, particularly that of the woman artist, Leonor Fini, who held her first exhibition at Monsieur Dior’s gallery in the 1930s. It’s no wonder that we see a gigantic birdcage right in the middle of the show space, surrounded by severed body parts such as an eye, ear, torso, nose, lips, and a pair of hands, dangling from the mirrored ceiling. The entirely black-and-white show space with chairs alternating in these colours, and the checkerboard floors, along with the massive chess board right outside the Musée Rodin show space (which reminded me of one of the Harry Potter scenes) certainly helped to foreshadow what was to be presented on the runway. No surprises here – it was a predominantly black and white collection, just like the show space.

Dior Haute Couture Spring Summer 18 SS18 Musee Rodin Showspace

Dior Haute Couture Spring Summer 18 SS18 Show Space Musee Rodin Adrien Dirand

Chiuri drew us into her world from the very first look that came down the runway, and at times, it felt as if we were straddling the lines between a dreamscape, and reality, without knowing where one begins, and the other, ends. A rather ethereal collection this was, and for those of us used to the intricate embroidery and beading that we have become so used to expecting from any Couture show, Chiuri’s collection would, to many, seemed to have taken the simpler, “no frills” approach instead. But don’t let what the collection presumably “lacks”, deceive you. Her designs more than made up for it, especially in the pleat-work and delicate draping of the tulle, which also mirrored the way in which the show space curtains were draped against the walls.

Dior SS18 Haute Couture

Dior SS18 Haute Couture

Dior SS18 Haute Couture

Dior SS18 Haute Couture

Dior SS18 Haute Couture

Quite the rebel she is, particularly when it came to the looks where she paired blazers and suit jackets made out of menswear fabrics, with voluminous full-skirts fit for a ball or evening gala. Yet, at the same time, she stays true to the Surrealist tradition throughout: we see fishnet stocking veiling a sandal, or white gloves clutching the ankle. She uses all of these as a way in which she teases us; bringing to light the concept of seeing versus being seen, because at the end of the day, we are all (un)consciously, voyeuristic beings (see backstage images below for a closer look at these).

Dior SS18 Haute Couture Finale Spring Summer 18

Such is the mark of a great designer, for not only was Chiuri able to set the tone and provide a great narrative with her designs, but also cleverly tie the collection back to the show space and the entire atmosphere so effortlessly.

And, as I mentioned earlier, simple doesn’t mean less intricate, so let me take you behind-the-scenes, for a closer look at these magnificent details, and the work that goes into creating these looks.

Dior Haute Couture SS18 Details

Dior Haute Couture SS18 Details

Dior Haute Couture SS18 Details

Dior Haute Couture SS18 Details

Dior Haute Couture SS18 Details

Images courtesy of Dior
Backstage images: Morgan O’ Donovan for Dior