With a much-lauded debut secured, for her second season at Christian Dior Maria Grazia Chiuri set herself a tough act to follow. No less impactful, this time for different reasons; if the first had been to establish her stance at the house and communicate a message of strength to women – expect to see the ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ T-shirt everywhere – this collection acted as a sequel of sorts, but with a different approach.
"A meditation in blue," she called out, and it was exactly that. Blue from first to final exit, in shades ranging from midnight to navy, indigo to ink, with a smattering of black and white scattered through. A nod to the Dior archives, her discovery of the shade from a 1951 look translated into one of the key pieces of her collection – a silk taffeta hooded dress.
Delving into the psyche of blue from its place in the palettes of 20th Century artists – notably Picasso and Kandinsky – to its mythology, sense of spirit, poetry and gender-associations, by her own admission, the collection was dream-like, but a presentation of the dream into the everyday.
Exploring deeper constellations on from her couture collection, somnambulist qualities played out through the detailing, with phases of the moon spun in glittering thread on a sheer mesh dress, while cosmic elements were scattered on sweaters and a bustier dress. And, in one of the most Instagrammed exits of the collection, a crystallised degradé tulle gown was given a contemporary edge with black Christian Dior-emblazoned straps.
If eveningwear remains key in the cannon of Dior, Chiuri also stayed faithful to her younger audience with the interplay of high-low-key elements – think an ombré tulle ruffled skirt worn with a slouchy cable knit, or a denim jacket atop a tulle midi skirt. Unpicking some of the formalities further, day on the Dior runway took a more utilitarian turn with uniform components in selvedge seams, a denim boiler suit style jumpsuit, a boxy lapel denim shirt and wide-boot-cut jeans accessoried with guitar strap-style cross body bags. Unifying the entire collection was the styling of the leather beret created by Stephen Jones atop each and every look, adding to a sense of resistance and solidarity in today’s Dior woman.