• Francesca Chelli

Exploring 70 years of Dior Maison


Exploring: a fascinating theme, in life, art, fashion.

The etymological meaning derives from the Latin EX-PLORO, where the EX suffix indicates to come out and is reinforcing the verb PLORARE, which means going and running to investigate. It is evident therefore the concept of being open to welcome new stimuli and new inspirations by going around the world, but also by reading books and deepening archives of the past.

It is this theme of exploration that I found in the two important moments dedicated to Christian Dior during the week of the Paris Haute Couture.

The fashion show staged by Maria Grazia Chiuri on the front of the Hotel des Invalides has put on the catwalk models somehow explorers, wearing amphibians and camouflaged tones mixed with marvelous couture dresses and combinations of fabrics and colors, in an environment played between natural and wild landscapes, such as the Savana, luxuriant and even more truthful by a sun which seemed to have been called for the occasion, the jungle, the forest. A scenery dominated by a star-shaped celestial dome, one of Christian Dior's lucky symbols.

In his color vision, the Colorama, which illustrates the Maison fundamentals, Christian Dior showed to be already the visionary who was, anticipating the future development of the luxury and fashion industry, with the dream of dressing a woman in color touches between clothes and accessories from head to toe, to create a meticulous elegance.

And how much color in this fashion show, well dosed and surprising, even the brown I have not seen in the Maison looks for a long time, and above all, the grey - "the most convenient and elegant neutral color" - all tones wonderfully mixed with beige tones, and the red "Trafalgar effect" ...

In the proposed creations I have found the portrait of a woman who will be able to face difficult challenges in the next Fall / Winter season- the Savana is not a docile theater - but will be helped by a very special look to instill her strength to cope with it in the right way.

With a mixed approach between the female sweetness of tulle and embroideries together with the masculine roughness of suits and tweed coats.

As if to say, I can defend myself, and I know how to do it in an elegant, refined and original way.

It seems to me the perfect recipe for a contemporary woman who does not want to lose her femininity but who has to be up to a world that is not a fairytale and where sometimes she also needs to wear explorers colors to camouflage a bit.

Exploring means also traveling not only in places but also over time. The exhibition dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Maison of Chistian Dior has been for me a wonderful journey through an historic period revisited with the eyes of a fashion artist and his creations.

Starting from the 1947 New Look, which brought the Designer to an immediate fame in Paris and around the globe, a unmatchable creative universe twists and turns out, letting to emerge the influences of Renaissance paintings, Salvador Dalí's surrealist sculpture and paintings, Monet canvases, along with the influences of Man Ray and Giacometti, until the beloved gardens and the passion for roses and flowers as childhood memories of Granville.

A unique set-up that has highlighted collections rich of deep intellectual heritage and elegance, along with the whole world of intricate recalls and symbols of fascinating meaning, like the talismans, still today heavily present, with which the designer loved to surround himself.

Building up a wide and truly dreamful universe, with neoclassical and romantic inspirations, such as the corsets Versailles style in white, the 'pure and simple color that goes along well with everything' and that Dior together with the pink used to say 'makes women more beautiful'.

A richness of explorations and contaminations that led Christian Dior to be the true 'Couturier du Reve', as the title of the exhibition says, and which then inspired the creative directors who succeeded him and whose creations in turn are shown in the exhibition, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferrè, John Galliano, Raf Simons and today's first woman designer of the Maison Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri.

That is, the world out there is not easy, but the research, the style, the elegance and the sophistication of a cocktail at sunset in the gardens of the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, with the backdrop of violins recalling French court celebrations along with melodies by Italian Luigi Einaudi, between champagne ...

... and the wonderful couturier decorations of the gardens, closed a dream day, in which Christian Dior was definitely present somewhere with a talisman in his pocket, to bring luck to his party and to remind us that 'zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without zest'.

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