Christian Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri presented her Spring Summer ’21 offering to a socially-distanced audience in a tent in the Jardin des Tuileries during Paris Fashion Week this afternoon. Her latest ready to wear offering seemed to bring together a globally-relevant perspective about our new at-home lives and what each of us is personally experiencing behind closed doors.
Chiuri was thinking of how our fashion needs have irrevocably changed, no matter where in the world we are located. It makes sense, so, that this 87-look collection took inspiration from all corners of the planet with the united concept of comfort and ease of dressing. “We are traversing a period of crisis that is radically transforming behaviors, habits and rituals,” she said in her show notes. “Our spirits have changed, as have our bodily attitudes.”
In terms of our transformed needs, languid coverups formed the backbone of this collection—Chiuri sought to reinterpret the Dior bar jacket from a Fall Winter 1957 collection created for Japan. We already had the house dress enter the modern lexicon this year, and now Chiuri is making a case for the house coat: a regal-but-relaxed robe, which she presented in printed chambray, patchwork paisley, meticulously embroidered, or plain and cinched with a thin braided belt.
She also leaned in to vests in leather and suede, and samurai-style jackets, to add an edge when paired with folksy dresses. Some frocks and skirts came in crochet and sheer chiffon; jazzed up with beads, embroidery, or ornate collar and cuff detailing. There were also prairie-esque styles with lace bibs, while others had oriental-inspired cheongsam necklines. Each was certainly distinct from the one that preceded it when it came to historical and cultural references, giving the collection a truly universal feel and appeal.
As well as taking ideas from her muses—Virginia Woolf’s colorful layers and Susan Sontag plain white shirts were mentioned—Chiuri cited the writings of Germano Celant and his refrain from a 1997 essay: “The time has now come for fashion to decipher its latent forces and desires and recognize itself as a free and original discipline.”
With this offering, the Dior woman could surely move freely through her home and navigate this unprecedented lifestyle shift, knowing her fashion needs are taken care of.
See key looks from the collection below: