5 Things To Know About Christian Dior’s Performative SS 22 Show

Maria Grazia Chiuri Felt Like Change

‘I don’t know why, but I feel like it’s first time I’m doing a show’, Maria Grazia Chiuri admitted during a preview before her first ready – to – wear show with an audience since the pandemic. ‘I’m drinking chamomile to calm myself’, she laughed, gesturing at her teacup. ‘I don’t know why…It’s different’. The back – to – reality jitters weren’t the only third that felt different on Chiuri’s runway. Her return came with a bold proposition founded in vibrant colours and a sportier and sexier silhouette. ‘I’ve been reflecting a lot about what it means to work in fashion and why we need to do a real show – why it’s not possible to work with film only’, she said. ‘Fashion is a game. To dress ourselves is a way of performing. A show is a collective performance between the models and the audience. There was a lot of criticism over the last two years’, she continued, referring to industry calls to slow down the fashion system, ‘but we have to accept this necessity’.

Chiuri Worked With Anna Paparatti

To illustrate her idea of fashion as a performative tool in our lives. Chiuri called upon Anna Paparatti to design the set and scenography for the show. In the 1960s, the Italian artist made a name for herself creating fake board games that questioned the nonsense and absurdities of life. Her work eventually evolved into gatherings and performances. Chiuri fused those elements, commissioning Paparatti to create massive board games inside her show tent in the Jardins des Tuileries on which the models moved around like life – size pawns. ‘Clothes are what help us to perform in the way, and the show is performance art. There was a moment when it was as if fashion was something superficial, like it was not necessary. We could live in a uniform. And it’s completely not true’, Chiuri said, referring to our dressing mentalities during lockdown. ‘Clothes help us to perform’.

It Was A Departure From Early Dior References

It performing takes guts, Chiuri was definitely inspired. After years of paying reverence to her house’s founder, Christian Dior, she said she was ready for something new. To move the brand forward, she argued, its frame of reference can’t be narrowed down to the first 10 years of its archives – which count for Mr Dior’s time there. ‘We speak all the time about Bar Jackets, and are super concentrated on the image of Dior. And I’ve introduced all these new takes on the Bar Jacket’, she pointed out. ‘But I want to introduce bold colours, and it my point of view, bold colours are too graphic for this shape. I find it difficult to work with bold colours, so I feel more confident using those colours on these shapes’. Those shapes, as it were, took their point of departure in another Dior designer: Marc Bohan.

Chiuri Took Inspiration From Marc Bohan

In an ode to Bohan – who served at Dior between 1859 and 1989 – Chiuri debuted a girlier and kickier silhouette rooted in the sportswear Bohan introduced at Dior in the early ’60s, painting scanty coats and skirts in primary and fluo colours. After everything we’ve bee through, she wanted to uplift her customer. ‘Bohan created a new line. He broke with the past’, Chiuri said. ‘We can’t forget that he was at Dior for three decades. He’s the person who’s been there the longest. I was fascinated with his work from the beginning, because he worked there in the ’60s and for me, he designed for modern women’. She took that every energy and ran with it, cheekily churning out one look more colourful, sequined, and – indeed – undressed than the other, topping into ‘the new sexy’, that’s already defining the post – pandemic season.

It Was Fun

As far as performative fashion goes, you couldn’t argue with Chiuri’s theory that clothes allow us to put out best foot forward. It was a fun collection, and a refreshing departure from references to the house’s founder, who would no doubt have appreciated the sentiment.