Could Dior Be About To Appoint Its First Female Couturier?

Valentino’s Maria Chiuri may be about to head to the iconic French house

The fashion world is abuzz with talk that Maria Grazia Chiuri, one half of the dream team at Valentino, is poised to step into the role of creative director at Dior. The job at the helm of the iconic French house has been vacant since the departure of Raf Simons in October.

Recent collections have been (very capably) designed by Simons’ remaining in-house team.

WWD reports that “Christian Dior has finalized a contract that will make Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri its seventh couturier,” although there has been no formal announcement. If the rumours are true, Chuira would be the house’s first female couturier.

Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri walk the runway during the Valentino Menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show. Photo: Getty

After Mr Dior died in 1957 he was succeeded briefly – and spectacularly – by his former assistant, the 21-year-old Yves Saint Laurent. Marc Bohan took over from him, dressing the likes of Grace Kelly in floral patio dresses that look a bit like Gucci’s do today (although much more formally styled).

Bohan stuck around for ages before Gianfranco Ferré took over in 1989. Next came John Galliano, who spent 15 years in the top job, creating some of the house’s most theatrical shows.

Raf Simons is a hard act to follow. Widely acclaimed as a genius, he starred in the riveting 2014 doco Dior and I, revealing just how pressured working on this level is.

But if anyone can do it, Chiuri can – she’s another fashion magician, creating jaw-droppingly beautiful collections at Valentino, with her design partner Pierpaolo Piccioli. But what will happen to him? What will happen at Valentino? The suspense is killing us. Fashion’s game of musical chairs is better than a soap opera.

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