Dior reimagines the feminist uniform for Autumn Winter ’20 at Paris Fashion Week
The show was an homage to Italian critic and activist Carla Lonzi
Since Maria Grazia Chiuri’s appointment at Dior, the brand has been witnessing the marriage between fashion and feminism. And, even though there were multi-hyphenate models like Cara Delevingne, Alexa Chung and Karlie Kloss along with Demi Moore and Carla Bruni, in attendance at Dior’s Autumn Winter’20 showcase at Paris Fashion Week, the real star of the show was Chiuri’s radicalism that has been leading the womenswear at this iconic luxury house.
Set against the backdrop of Tuileries Garden, the show was fuelled by the conversation around consent that is changing some of the most powerful industries (like fashion and entertainment) in the world. Neon signs, made in collaboration with the artist collective Claire Fontaine, spelt ‘When women strike, the world stops,’ ‘Patriarchy = climate emergency’, and ‘Consent. Consent. Consent’ were suspended in the air. Some of the T-shirts were emblazoned with “I Say I,” a phrase borrowed Carla Lonzi—an activist and art critic who co-founded the Rivolta Femminile, an Italian feminist collective during 1970s.
The clothes were also charged with the bohemianism prevalent during the ’70s—a time period that has informed Chiuri’s aesthetics at Dior. The show opened with a relaxed all-black pant suit and then showcased midi-dresses and pleated skirts worn with fishnet stockings and utilitarian combat boots. Bralettes were worn under translucent blouses, hinting to a woman who is free of societal norms. And, the abundance of check patterns pointed towards a worker’s sensibility along with accessories like bandanas and newsboy caps.
This is quite the turnaround from the time when Dior stood for opulence and was epitomised by the bar suit—a silhouette that was meant to celebrate nipped-waists and voluminous skirts. Chiuri is the first woman to hold the position of creative director in the 100-year history of Dior. And, if there’s one thing we know for sure—it’s that her vision, unlike Christian Dior, will be rooted in reality instead of fantasy.