With the Dior Spring Summer 2019 Haute Couture show, Maria Grazia Chiuri offered one jaw-dropper after the next. As if the circus tent setting and the gravity-defying performances by Mimbre acrobats weren’t already enough, she took the circus theme and combined it with the best of the House’s savoir-faire, sending out short dresses and playsuits that burst to colorful life, tailoring trimmed with embroidered frogging, and vaporous evening gowns of the kind of which dreams are made.
The collection consists of a superposition of images: a woman’s tattooed skin, reminiscent of the Victorian circus and its fairground phenomena, becomes a motif-drenched unitard that shapes the body and tells a wearable story under dresses. Powdery shades that come together and blend into an infinite palette – like those on the curtain painted by Pablo Picasso for the ballet Parade – also symbolize this sense of the worn, of the fine dust that sprinkles stage clothes. Skirts embroidered or inlaid with opaque sequins are shortened as tutus that nod to the circus codes of acrobats, tamers and riders.
Maria Grazia Chiuri employs this broad variety of images to compose her own “parade”, comprising full and very light pants, narrowing at the ankle, which can also become sumptuous jumpsuits. Shorts are paired with sheer white shirts accented with ruffs or ribbons seemingly frayed with the passage of time. There are also leather corsets, sailor stripes, and black jackets inspired by that of the lion tamer. The geometric white clown outfit, whether spare or sumptuous, is reinterpreted through its materials, embroidery and proportions.
The show is animated with performances by the all-female circus company Mimbre, which, in a constant search for the poetic in the unexpected, highlights the trust and bond between the acrobats’ bodies.
The circus is presented as a place of inclusion in which the clown, through its androgynous and asexual dimension, becomes the expression of a possible equality and an evocation of modernity, one where beauty, origin, gender and age are no longer important, and only technique and daring matter. Check out #DiorDreamParade below.