Dior, presented its new haute couture spring-summer 2018 collection at the Rodin Museum in Paris. A collection between couture and modern art. The Rodin Museum has been transformed into a gallery for the occasion with giant ceramic casts of the body parts suspended from the ceiling, a predominantly monochrome color palette served as a base for an offering that aims to weave the twentieth century movement.

For artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri, haute couture embodies the dream of fashion. It is a place where it is possible to evolve freely to experiment with techniques, materials and forms. Immersing herself in the heart of the surrealist movement allowed her to bring an imaginative breath to this couture-spring-summer 2018 collection, for a change of scenery and a permanent optical reversal.

Surrealism also touches upon the words, the evocative texts that guided Maria Grazia Chiuri in the creation of a collection mainly in black and white, dotted with illusions and surprises.

Never trust the first impression … Thus, the large folds of the white evening dress edged with black open like pages, like a book; the cage, a recurrent motif of surrealist works, is transfigured into a network of black tubular fabric that encloses the body and emphasizes the play of transparency, while a fishing net made of silver thread mingles with the density of velvet.

But it is above all the charisma of Leonor Fini that defines the strict and radical attitude of the collection. Leonor Fini, who, after leaving Italy for Paris, had, at the time, organized his first exhibition in the gallery of Christian Dior, with whom she had befriended. During her phantasmagorical appearances, she often wore Dior creations. It was the embodiment of the then revolutionary idea that one must always remain independent and reinvent oneself, thus representing the whole realm of possible realities. She used the clothes to define herself and to stage herself, to assert herself, both in public and private: influential, strict and elegant, in poses borrowed from the male portraits of the Renaissance, in a continuous interaction between life and work of art, mixing the natural and the artificial. It is in this dimension suspended between dream and reality that evolve the wonders of haute couture.

The same goes for daywear, of which Christian Dior has been able to reinterpret the shapes, notably by using masculine fabrics, and from which Maria Grazia Chiuri is inspired to propose a series of tailors. These take the curves of Dior to bring them up to date and agree with skirts with multiple contrasts.
Faithful to the surrealist tradition of deconstructed body fetishism, the accessories mark their presence in a fantastic way: a fishnet stocking veil a sandal, gloves clutch an ankle. It is in this way of seeing and being seen, in this look immersed in the unconscious and focused on the world that Maria Grazia Chiuri marries embroidery and wonders. Precious and delicate ornaments that, on a dress inhabited by a flamboyant phantasmagoria of peacock feathers, become eyes that scrutinize and express the mystery, but also the power of the spirituality of women today.

Photos: Dior

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