Dior Cruise Collection 2018

Dior Cruise Collection 2018

Something strange happened in the L.A. desert yesterday. Amid giant air balloons bearing the words ‘Dior Sauvage’ , the French house’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri staged her very first cruise show at the Santa Monica Mountains Nature Preserve. Many were expecting more denim – a lead from her AW17 collection which gave jeans the spotlight – and while denim did play its part, it was primitive motifs and old Western dress codes that lassoed around the general theme of femininity. Factors that have become integral to Grazia Chiuri’s aesthetic.

The collection was inspired by the primitive drawings discovered in the Lascaux caves – a network of underground habitats over 200.000 years old. The cave paintings once inspired Monsieur Dior to create prints for his Ovale collection of 1951. Heritage is always key at Dior but Maria Grazia Chiuri is such a clever manipulator of facts: she turned this Dior legacy to her advantage by making the collection about female empowerment once again. No slogans this time calling for equality, just a pure and earthy spiritualism connecting matriarchy with ancient rituals and a strong sense of folklore.

Like modern day ranch girls, the models glided around the Dior tents (no designated runway) in clothes that reflected the colours of the Preserve: a palette of browns, tans and sunset orange and reds. The looks – all longline and worn with Stephen Jones’ wide brim hats  – bore patterns inspired by the ancient cave drawings. A rich tapestry of textures unfolded in the otherwise barren and dusty location: embroidered, sequinned, layered and tasseled. Romance may not be the right word for this debut resort show, Grazia Chiuri would never prescribe to the flighty ideals. The message was clear: females rule, but they don’t always need to shout about it.

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