by Aminath Ifasa
  • 2 minute read
  • September 26, 2023
Dior’s Spring/Summer 2024 Show Breaks Gender Stereotypes, One Outfit At A Time

Maria Grazia Chiuri’s vision for Christian Dior took center stage at Paris Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2024 show. Against the backdrop of a captivating video installation by artist Elena Bellatoni, the event delivered a potent feminist message, with the venue’s walls adorned by striking phrases like “I Don’t Belong To Anyone Else,” “My Body Is Not A Product,” and “I Am Not Your Doll.”

The collection unfolded against a vivid pink and yellow runway, adhering to a neutral color palette. Delicate lace textiles crafted tasteful, transparent dresses in the opening looks, while blazers celebrated the feminine form with cinched waists. Subsequent gowns featured graceful tulle finishes, and long black coats exuded confident authority.

There was a subtle touch of androgyny in some pieces, not to challenge the idea that women can do what men do, but to show that tasks don’t have to be gender-specific. And we also spotted a line of looks adorned with lace that just celebrated those special details that make women unique.

“When I look at the images of Mr Dior’s work, I remind myself that they were done probably with a male gaze. I want to translate this with a view that’s more contemporary,” she said, explaining the thought-process that underpinned this season’s collection. “It’s a reflection upon imagery and how much it affects our ideas of things.” Delving into this idea, she sought inspiration from historical female archetypes who defied convention, often labeled as dark or threatening, spanning from the enigmatic witches of the Middle Ages to the captivating Parisiennes of 19th-century France. “It’s the notion of transformation,” she remarked, referring not only to the collection but also to her approach at Dior. “Our aim is not to perpetuate yet another stereotypical concept.”

Chiuri’s meticulous eye for detail was evident throughout, with subtle illustrative graphics gracing blazers, topcoats, and skirts. Utilitarian elements made their mark with nylon vests and jackets, showcasing multiple pockets and dual-functioning zippers. Minimalism took the stage with single-hued dresses and coats.

Grey denim, artfully treated for a burn-like effect, appeared in a jacket and shirt set, later reappearing as knee-length shorts. Intricate lace in soft beige added a regal touch to formal tops and flowing gowns. Floor-length skirts found balance with asymmetrical tops, creating a sense of intrigue.

The final looks, featuring opulent sheer dresses adorned with intricate neck ornamentation, shone a bright spotlight on femininity, a testament to Chiuri’s forward vision for women’s fashion. The collection challenged conventions, embracing abstraction and obscurity, defying ingrained associations.

Incorporating elements like decadent lace dresses, frayed-edge tailoring, tattered knitwear, and fleurs de nuit motifs in prints and ribbon embroideries, the collection invoked a classic witchy aesthetic. Shirts and dresses inspired by Christian Dior’s iconic witchy Abandon dress from 1948 showcased Chiuri’s talent for reinterpreting tradition.

Tea-stained denim pieces and ripped burlap coats and dresses continued the bewitching silhouette. Utilitarian capes and aprons added drama, while Chiuri’s strap sandals, blending pumps and gladiator boots, played with perceptions.

Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection for Dior is a captivating exploration of dark femininity, challenging norms, and inviting us into a world where fashion transcends stereotypes. Chiuri’s ability to infuse empowerment, symbolism, and style into every piece solidifies her role as a trailblazer in the fashion realm.

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