For Christian Dior Fall ’21, Maria Grazia Chiuri was thinking about fairytales, albeit not necessarily the type of innocent, bedtime stories that initially comes to mind. Rather, the creative director explored the idea of vanity and how a woman central to a plot might see herself—both externally and internally.
The show, titled Disturbing Beauty, was fittingly filmed at the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles (where else!), with the halls lined with artworks by the Italian artist Silvia Giambrone and the various looking glasses coated in wax to obscure any hint of a reflection. The mirrors also came riddled with thorns, in one of many references that harked back to Beauty and the Beast.
While there was plenty of innocence to be found in these protagonists’ pinafores, silk scarf headdresses, lacy school girl-style socks, and Broderie Anglaise separates, there was a constant sense of something dark and mysterious around the corner. That mounting tension, which builds to a palpable level in the short film below, came through in more austere leather pieces, like the puff shoulders on a mini, black netting underneath skirts, or even the mourning veil-reminiscent headgear.
Among the more upfront nods to the likes of Little Red Riding Hood and various fables, there were symbols like roses, apples, and pierrot diamonds. A toy solider’s uniform was also a reoccurring idea, with cashmere coats in primary colors, as were very literal hooded capes that would make the aforementioned character proud. Pretty-as-a-picture fabrics included shimmering lamé, lurex jacquards, layered tulles, and the subtle addition of sparkling gold and silver threads. Indeed, the gowns that made up the finale were the perfect example of what we’d expect to see as we turn the page to finally reach a happy ending.
See the collection below: