Staged in the magnificent Hall of Mirrors at Versaille, Dior’s fall/winter 2021 show was awash with whimsy and wonder. Softly glowing chandeliers twinkled on the grand ballroom, as models appeared from the shadows and walked a runway lined with prickly spines and thorns.
Look more closely, and the collection was an ode to fairytales – there was a chic hooded cape fit for Little Red Riding Hood; a dramatic scarlet gown for the Queen of Hearts; blooming roses that spoke of Beauty & the Beast; and frothy coloured tulle to delight any Disney princess.
Of course creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, a staunch feminist, was never going to embrace the damsel-in-distress stereotype. Instead, a certain strength imbued each garment, from the prim Alice in Wonderland dresses - reworked in dramatic leather - to the iconic Dior Back Jacket re-imagined for toy soldiers.
“I am not obsessed with the idea of a princess," explained Chiuri. "Each woman wants to play [a] different character, with different clothes, to be one moment a soldier, then a princess. These women are not waiting for a prince but more going [into] the world to realise themselves. I think women are better when they build their life with their own hands and not wait on someone to help them.”
Wearing a perforated leather pinafore, no less.