For anyone who’s visited Paris in the first week of March, you’ll know of the thrill of seeing the celebrity style set descend on the streets in decadent Dior designs to celebrate the start of Paris Fashion Week.
It’s a historical moment, with the luxury fashion house typically the first on the schedule to present their new season creations. And it seems this notion of history is what was playing on Maria Grazia Chiuri’s mind for the Fall/Winter 2023 iteration.
Rather than taking a cerebral approach to reinventing the brand’s archives and rich heritage (Chiuri already did this for FW/22), the creative director is continuing her penchant for referencing famous women of the past.
The famous figures Chiuri referenced are intrinsically linked with the brand’s DNA, whether it be for their personal connection to Monsieur Dior themselves, their innovative legacy or simply their enviable personal wardrobes.
For the FW/23 season, Chiuri ruminated on the cultural impacts of not one, but three women who were profound in cementing Dior’s sartorial status as a covetable and cerebral fashion house for the modern women during the 1950s.
The sartorial makings of French icons Edith Piaf, Juliette Gréco and Catherine Dior, Christian Dior’s sister, served as the lens in which Chiuri looked back at the time of post-war Paris in the 1950s.
The collection wasn’t exactly the era of rebellion and beatnik that permeated the zeitgeist in the 1950s, but rather more austere, conservative yet albeit revolutionary.
There’s no doubt that Christian Dior’s ‘new look’ set women free, and it was this independence that Chiuri interpolated over 96 looks.
The first 20 looks were an undoubtable homage to the setting of the 50s, with effortlessly elegant calf-hemming pencil skirts and clinically crisp white button downs or boat neckline dresses given a modern makeover.
Elsewhere in the collection, Chiuri flexed her ability to codify Dior’s house motifs, with the maison’s iconic waist-cinching silhouette explored through watercolor cap-sleeve shirts. The pieces were perfectly apt for our precarious times, because if we were ever in need of a post-war uniform, its now.
They say that history exists in 80 years blocks, and considering we’re in the fourth turning there’s no better time to look back to the events that are just as relevant now as they were then.
And while the silhouettes may have changed, the styles and sensibilities remain the same.
Because if history is doomed to repeat itself, we can expect the style set to return to Paris, decked out in Dior for time immemorial.