Maria Grazia Chiuri Makes a Statement on the Runway
Maria Grazia Chiuri, Christian Dior’s first ever female artistic director, made sure that her debut collection was unforgettable. Breaking away from her previous label, Valentino, with their famous Renaissance style dresses, Chiuri presented Paris Fashion Week with fencing style outfits and maxi skirts with trainers. More strikingly though, was the white t-shirt look which read the famous line from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDx speech “We should all be feminists.” Beyoncé’s song “Flawless”, which features Adichie’s speech, also played in the background as the models walked the catwalk. Although, there were a few items that were typical Chiuri; such as fairy tale style red carpet gowns. However, It was the feminist t-shirt which was the most Instagrammed outfit of the show. Chiuri also showed some tailored looks, strengthening the feminist aspect of the show.
Dior has always represented femininity, just as Chanel has always stood for chic. The first Christian Dior collection consisting of billowing skirts and soft rounded shoulders, bringing back the 1930s feminine look which he had such a liking for. This tradition has often been present in Dior collections with Chiuri’s predecessor, Raf Simons, who adhered to this feminine look when he wallpapered the venue with fresh flowers at his debut back in 2014.
Photo: The Guardian, Raf Simons debut
Chiuri is using her new position, which is one of the most prestigious roles in Paris fashion since Coco Chanel, to convey her feminist beliefs. She also said after the show that she wanted to pay tribute to other designers who have worked at Dior, not just Christian Dior himself.
The Dior collection at Paris Fashion week has shown that there is a real and ever present change, highlighted in this industry, but also across every field. Women are being given more responsibilities and are taking important roles for themselves, which were once only recognised as male-only titles. The world stage at the moment is showing just how powerful women are becoming. Hillary Clinton competing for one of the most powerful positions in world politics is just one of many instances. More professions are opening up to women, giving them opportunities to rise to the top; mirrored aptly in the appointment of Chiuri as the head of Dior.