It was a sad day when Raf Simons’ announced his departure from Dior, amid claims that the culture of fast fashion was running him down. It was clearly difficult to find anyone remotely as amazing as Simons, but Maria Grazia Chiuri seems to more than have held her own at the Spring/Summer 17 Dior Show on Friday.
What seemed to be an eternity after Simon’s exit, Chiuri, formerly a designer at Valentino, was named the storied house’s new director. Additionally, she is the brand’s first female director, a historic moment for Christian Dior.
It has admittedly been a sad week for new designers, YSL’s new direction was a bit of a letdown, and though Lanvin was by no means poor, it’s hard to compete with Alber Elbaz no matter who you are. Chiuri, has however stepped up to the plate and understood what was needed of her at her first show: she showed the major differences between herself and Simons, was incomparably different than anything Simons would design, she made statements and drew attention (I am of course talking about the “we should all be feminists” t-shirt), and she more than showed her experience. Perhaps the only fault with the collection was the heavy influence it drew from Valentino, which could cause fears about how to the two brands will differentiate themselves going forwards, but for a first show, even the Valentino-like pieces were lovely, and as classy as Dior ever is.
Some of the Valentino-esque Pieces From the Show
Chiuri was evidently also influenced by fencing, and she created some simple, elegant and androgynous pieces were her most interesting of the show.
This is the now-famous shirt which grabbed the fashion media’s attention, and will no doubt be the item du jour for fashionistas the world over in the coming months. Our favorite pieces though, were the ones that evoke the classic feminity that is the Dior specialty, but showed Chiuri’s unique design style at the same time.
The show, held at a minimalistic and clean location, in stark contrast to Simon’s larger than life floral sets, had its final walk and bow amid loud clapping from the audience.