Quelle surprise! After all of the thoughtful journeys Maria Grazia Chiuri has taken us on since she first landed at Dior, it was her graceful return to classic Parisian haute couture that was the most unexpected. As the world got a closer look at the legendary work created by Dior’s atelier over the years – courtesy of a massive exhibition at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, which makes its way to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London next year – one is reminded of the talented petites mains who are the engine of the brand’s couture production.
For Fall 2018 Couture, Chiuri decided to place them front and center, with an intimate setting at the Musée Rodin that made every guest feel like a client awaiting her own couture fitting. It was a point of view to be appreciated, especially considering how divorced the atelier is from the attention and credit its Creative Director receives for the work produced.
The first few looks get straight to the point: These are the clothes of a well-heeled woman. With dainty nipped waists, cape-backed accents that lent volume to the sleeve, and plenty of pleating, the clothes were of the highest pedigree. Although simple on the surface, they were no less breathtaking in their self-possessed elegance. Take for instance, a knife-pleated, plunge-front navy slip dress, whose head-turning good looks spoke volumes about the wearer’s confidence levels. Varied textures were where the atelier’s talents really shined, especially in the case of dresses strewn with micro ruffles, another made from raised floral appliqués, and gowns made from handsome fabrics that were touched with delicate rows of paillettes, tiny blossoms, and Art Deco motifs.
For Fall 2018 Couture, Dior’s works preferred to whisper rather than shout.
Toward the middle, the collection focused on lovely metallics, showcasing dresses embroidered with filigreed thread, gold lamé suits, and foiled brocade gowns — all suggestive of interior decor from a bygone era, rendered modern by their tailoring. Then came a selection of champagne-colored dresses, followed by a final line-up of solid colored gowns with fitted bustiers in shades of sage, bronze, crimson, pistachio, and dusty rose. For Fall 2018 Couture, Dior’s works preferred to whisper rather than shout, offering the kind of looks that draw a viewer nearer and nearer until they find themselves in wonder of craftsmanship that is so fine, it is scarcely noticeable from a distance.