Maria Grazia Chiuri is on a quest for women empowerment; statement t-shirt aside, we say the intentions are pure and correctly translated every single time. After all, she is the first woman to ever have that role at the French Maison. The Cruise 2019 show was no exception, as the creative director for Dior took inspiration from female riders in Mexico, also known as Escaramuza. In her interview for the collection given in Italian, the designer expressed how everything came to life. It all started with a dream, an idea of a place that would be as picturesque as a movie. She also took inspiration from a book that spoke about fantasy and dreams, magical realism and myths, as Chiuri described, the author found a way of mixing realities with realities which is precisely what she was able to execute for this cruise show.Set at the Grandes Ecuries of the Domaine de Chantilly, just outside Paris, the Italian designer transformed the venue into the “Dior Rodeo.” The site is a place known for its very delicate lace and of course for its horses and is a symbol of magisterial French elegance and art de vivre. The choice of the venue couldn’t have been more in tune with what Chiuri wanted to echo, as she found out that it’s linked not only to France but also the South of Italy where her father is from and South America. If there’s one thing that these three countries have in common, it is indeed their way of life. Wanting to showcase traditions with elegance and folk, it was the different elements that allowed two worlds to come together without any clash. In fact, the Escaramuza riders were the first sports team to ever be at a rodeo in Mexico, and after a few visits in the country, the Dior design team was impressed by the fact that these ladies didn’t want to give up their femininity while doing their sport. Something that resonates way to well with the Dior woman today.Just like a dream, but one that Chiuri would have never fantasized on happening, the Mexican riders opened the show under the rain, making the designer’s mythical inspiration more real than what she could have ever imagined. Celebrities and influencers such as Arizona Muse, Chiara Ferragni, Alexa Chung and Negin Mirsalehi, were in attendance and expressed via their social media stories how the rain made everything look ten times more beautiful.The choice of fabrics for this 84 looks collection was exquisite and made us all want to dig in into this new Dior archive. Tulle was juxtaposed with lace and leather belts, and we have to say it might have been every tomboy, ideal look for a momentous occasion. Naturally, lace was a piece of fabric often used by the designer, and although some of the looks were fresh and modern, some reminded us of our grandmother’s tablecloths, because of the way it was used on some dresses and skirts. There was a series of ruffle tops, pleated skirt, and bustier dresses but more importantly even for someone who’s not a fashion expert the inspiration and reference of the collection were crystal clear. It was indeed a great fusion of the feminine attitude of the Mexican riders and French elegance and traditions. As a matter of fact, the fabric used throughout the collection is the old toile de Jouy motif revamped and done by hand in the Dior atelier with a series of jungle animal drawings. The fabric was seen as prints, embroideries, on painted cotton, jacquard, satin, silk, and lace. With all the different embroidered hats in black and white created by Stephen Jones, it was as if Victorian style had met the Mexican flair and was in perfect harmony. As the hat designer stated, he took inspiration from traditional Spanish and Mexican hats mixed with American hats, all by modifying each just a little.Refined French traditions and Mexican folk was an ongoing theme and a mix of savoir-faire on both sides, more evident at times than others, but needless to say that we weren’t so surprised as we know from her Valentino days, that the folk concept is something very much appreciated by Chiuri. Although we loved how such two opposites world came together so beautifully, we have to say that the rubber army boots with the hats, paired with evening gowns didn’t work out so well for all the looks. Some turned out to look like a mistake and honestly a bit forced. However, the French essence with the edgy feminine Mexican look was extremely eye-catching with the laser cut leather shirt which was just impeccable. The little to no make-up look was done right the hairstyle was on point, as the models had very tight ponytails. The new resort 2019 trend, the polka dots were seen, and the Dior “Book Tote” finally got our stamp of approval when it came out with the Jouy motif in black and white. The fabric made the bag look vintage but modern at the same time. The black leather saddle bag is also one of our favorites this season.
The resort 2019 collection, has got to be Maria Grazia Chiuri best work at Dior. It seems the creative director is finally finding her way and is able to translate what inspires her in her own way. She’s all about female empowerment and with this collection, she wasn’t screaming it but rather making a statement. Hopefully, the next collection will as successful.
By Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre