Dior Digital Haute Couture Autumn Winter 2020 -21

July 7, 2020


Dior is my favourite fashion house and I wondered how they would bring all the excitement and glamour of Haute Couture to a world in the grips of a pandemic. I should be in Paris now watching several of the shows, but here I am safe on my couch, at home in the far way land of Australia. All is quiet. My household is asleep. I am waiting, worrying and wondering how the Dior magic will translate to a digital format. It seems Maria Grazia Chiuri has been busy imagining, designing and creating whilst she was also locked down in her Italian home. 

Suddenly it begins and I am being transported into a magical world. The show I see is whimsical and taps into our girlish imaginings of dollhouses, miniatures and the creatures of fairy tales. It is inspired by art and surrealist figures like Dora Maar and Leonora Carrington. Yet there is also an affinity with nature and the natural world and it is this reminder of the beauty of our world and the things that cannot be explained that gives us hope. I am mesmerised. 

The Dior Autumn / Winter Haute Couture Show was in the form of a short film by Italian, Matteo Garrone. It was called Le Mythe Dior. We see the master seamstresses in the atelier hard at work sewing the 37 miniature Dior pieces, before we are taken on a journey into the forest where two smart bellboys are carrying a trunk based on Dior headquarters in Avenue Montaigne. In the forest and over babbling brooks and bridges they trudge tempting magical women; mermaids, forest nymphs, goddesses and statues, with their ethereal miniature designs. It was a sublime piece to watch full of fantastical characters, where the miniatures came to life as dream -inducing creations.

The designs were pieces for every woman of every age to covet. As I looked through the gallery I gasped and on every pages of my notes I have written about showstopper after showstopper. From the signature Dior suits with nipped in waists, razor pleats and belts, through to Grecian inspired ball gowns with bondage style criss crossed roping. There was plenty of  black, white and silvery grey plus gowns with floor length capes. I loved the pleated chiffon intarsia skirt with a tree bark motif attached to a beaded lattice top. I was surprised by the white cashmere coat with a brown and black appliqué motif. A geometric metallic floor length coat would turn heads as you walked into a room and in a ball gown of pale grey feathering you would glide along a red carpet. 

I think this collection will go down in history as a triumph, with the miniatures that were inspired by the Theatre de la mode set to travel across the globe. Maria has said, “They are couture dresses. Made in real proportions with real textiles and real craftsmanship.“ 

So what can we mere mortals take as trends to come from this amazing Dior show? There will be plenty of pleating, layers and ruffles plus suiting with nipped in waists with belts, which I personally love. There are the colours of nature , with surprising shades like yellow metallic coming to the fore. Black and white dramatic pieces will always be in fashion. Grecian inspired looks will delight. More structured ball gowns with collars and buttons will show off the female form and floor length coats and capes can’t help but make a statement. Billowy sleeves inspired by Japanese kimonos will come through and longer full skirts will be in everyone’s wardrobes for day and evening. 

The House of Dior has always survived with its ability to change and adapt. Dior’s Post War designs were the stuff of every woman’s dreams and I am glad that Maria Grazia Chiuri has created a collection full of natural references through colour, texture, design, detail, draping, poetic silhouettes and  ethereal fabrics. This writer, dreamer and fashion lover was entranced by the mythical creatures and story told by Dior. And there were mermaids! Now who wouldn’t love a mermaid in a Dior gown?  

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