At the Invalides, artist Pietro Ruffo imagined a decor based on the African savannah. Within the Cour Vauban in the Hôtel des Invalides, a luxuriant garden was recreated after a 1957 engraving by Albert Decaris that was found in the brand’s archives. This engraving was the starting point for Maria Grazia Chiuri to compose her dream world. Among wooden rhinoceroses, lions, and giraffes, models went down the runway to present Maria Grazia Chiuri’s second Haute Couture runway for Dior. Entitled “Mind the Map”, a number of diverse variations of Dior’s legendary grey and the iconic Bar jacket grabbed attention. “Christian Dior travelled the world in 1947. This time, we’ve brought the five continents to Paris,” declared Sidney Toledano, CEO of Christian Dior.
The brand’s creative director thus imagined a plethora of explorer-esque silhouettes for adventurers on a worldwide quest. Among houndstooth and herringbone wools and Prince of Wales cashmeres, the pieces in the first part of the runway introduced a range of refined fabrics. “I wanted to use really British fabrics, the ones Monsieur Dior used,” explained the Italian designer. Then in the second part, all the sensuality of the Dior woman as imagined by Maria Grazia Chiuri was revealed.
On top, a Bar jacket that’s a bit less accentuated than the original gets paired with an elegantly transparent skirt. The complexion of the two appears to illustrate like none other an encounter of Monsieur Dior’s heritage and the sensual femininity of the brand’s first female creative director. “We often remember Monsieur Dior’s floral dresses, evening dresses, but he was a couturier who made a lot of clothes for daytime, jackets, shirts,” she highlighted. “In those days, haute couture was made for daily life, not just for special occasions.” That’s exactly what can be read in this pairing of the Bar jacket with an extra-long tulle skirt that’s embroidered with feathers to perfect the Dior woman during a cocktail party. Maria Grazia’s Chiuri haute couture is something that can be explored on the daily.
Dior houndstooth: Key dates
1947 : Originally born as a motif for working wool among the Scottish shepherd, houndstooth becomes a fashion fabric during the 30s after being used by the English aristocracy. Starting from 1947 became a true personal signature for Christian Dior and steadily entered his collections.
1947 : Houndstooth rapidly becomes a key element of Dior. Christian Dior chooses this pattern to decorate the bottle of the perfume Miss Dior. Miss Dior will be only the first. Diorissimo and other Dior fragrances will show the same ornamental motif.
1997 – 2011 : Disruption is the true religion of John Galliano while guiding Dior but the houndstooth is still there. However, at a certain point he tries to reinvent the motif with a pattern “CD” that uses the initials of Christian Dior.
2017 : Maria Grazia Chiuri has to intercept millennials, streetwear, urban style, the use of new materials, cuts, shapes and innovative patterns, but houndstooth keeps being a protagonist of the maison Dior.