Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Christian Dior, under the artistic oversight of Maria Grazia Chiuri, presented a Fall/Winter 2017 Couture collection in a carefully crafted wilderness. In an amphitheater, designed especially for the occasion by artist Pietro Ruffo, guests sat under a suspended dome painted with celestial scenes and watched models stride down a path lined with ferns, red-desert sand, and wooden animal sculptures. The natural backdrop brought focus to the precisely shaped, modern, cosmopolitan garments.
The theme of cross-continental travel and exploration was a reference to Dior’s expansion since its founding in 1947. Following the spirit of boundary crossing, Chiuri decided on more wearable, masculine silhouettes, rather than traditional ball-gown couture. Sculpting feminine shapes in menswear fabrics, such as wool herringbone and leather, Chiuri paied tribute to Monsieur Dior’s long-standing goal of serving “all types of women in all countries.” Light, above-the-ankle dresses, single-belted coats with pockets, and thick-soled brogues looked especially adventurous. However, tulles, chiffons and airy silks also abounded, making the collection a fine bridge between elegant daywear and couture.
To further commemorate Dior’s septuagenarian status, an exhibition currently on display at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris traces the history of the French maison.