Building on a minimalist foundation, Dior's Maria Grazia Chiuri questions the concept of conformity.
Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri was one of the first designers recently to clock the turning tides of fashion – from maximalism to minimalism. She started streamlining her work a few seasons ago, paring it back and focusing on construction and strong silhouettes rather than embellishment and decor. She started putting a renewed emphasis on bags and shoes, the house’s bread and butter. For that reason, she is perfectly situated among the sudden minimalist devotees, with her aim still square on the target. But her minimalism still has a powerful message.
There are codes in this collection – think skirt suits and tonal button-ups with trousers – that seem to be very conscious of the corporate environment. Chic office attire. Yet, at the same time, the feminism central to Chiuri’s messaging sees that tendency toward assimilation into a “man’s world,” (which is what happened permanently to daywear in the 1980s when women started entering the workforce en masse at the corporate level) and rejects it. A move toward “safe” fashion signals a collective giving up of individual wills.
At Dior Spring/Summer 2023, what is typically prim and proper goes rogue. It started with suiting and modest hemlines, and then she put a twist on it: an asymmetric wide-necked button-up was a new take on an office Oxford, an oversized blazer was spray painted with a graphic Eiffel Tower, a deconstructed twinset looked like the moths had gotten to it, office pumps featured ankle straps that multiplied up the leg. It was a very wry and self-aware approach that allowed the nuance of her anti-conformity idea to work in tandem with the collection.
At Dior Spring/Summer 2023, WHAT is TYPICALLY prim and proper goes rogue.