It's Spring, as Dior Continues to Fall...



Fashion month wrapped up a few weeks ago - and I’ve been quite behind. But we are never too behind to talk about Dior, one of the brands that has shaped my idea of what fashion should be - ever since I was a 6 month old grasping at a Vogue magazine with Linda Evangelista on the cover (photo evidence available upon request).



That being said, it’s that time again, that wonderful time every 3-4 months where I get to complain about the slow and agonizing demise of Dior at the hands of Maria Grazia Chiuri. It’s the most wonderful time of the quarter-year, honestly.


Don’t get me wrong. I love a strong female designer. Hey Phoebe Philo, Ciao Donatella, what’s good Rei Kawakubo, how’s it Olsen twins? (Special shout-out to Clare Waight Keller, whose last Givenchy Couture show still has me weak at the knees). Who knows how to dress a woman’s body better than a woman? However, as a woman at the forefront of one of the most influential fashion houses in history, Maria Grazia Chiuri is subject to a microscopic lens.


I don’t care how many influencers come to her for wedding gowns, there is a problem brewing at Dior and I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about it.

Between underwhelming shows that have more to do with the theatrics than garments, and the same bodice for a third of the gowns that have walk down the runway, Chirui has some e’splainin’ to do.


Take this past Spring ready-to-wear show. We open to a dimly lit space surrounded by stadium seating. The black floor littered with flower petals as more continue to fall from above. Models emerge from a back-spotlight lit entrance and try not to slip on the stage props as they glide through a troupe of leotard-clad artistic dancers. These dancers are ignored by the muses as ballerina flats and ballet skirts stalk the runway. The entire scene is shot as if it is a stage performance, featuring editing littered with perfectly placed boom shots. The clothing is curated as if it were an exhibition, groups of models walk down the runway strategically dispersed, and yet together.



Sounds gorgeous right? Well, it is! Until you start taking a closer look at the clothes.


The issue, I think, is quite subtle (not unlike Chiuri’s designs). Chiuri is a good designer. She has an eye for silhouette and tailoring, there is no doubt. She sends models down the runway that look like they have been vacuum sealed into bodices and she molds pretty shapes with jackets that recall “The New Look” without merely copying it. That is talent. This attention to detail notwithstanding, the problem begins to arise over time. There is an alarming lack of ingenuity and innovation beyond what Chirui had brought to the table upon her arrival.


Since this issue started to boil just under the surface a few seasons into her tenure at Dior, more overarching concerns have begun to rear their ugly heads. Is this designer capable of a vision? Can these stunts translate into something lasting and meaningful at a brand whose founder spent so little time in his prime before his untimely death, yet somehow creating waves well into the 21st century?


Since this issue started to boil just under the surface a few seasons into her tenure at Dior, more overarching concerns have begun to rear their ugly heads. Is this designer capable of a vision? Can these stunts translate into something lasting and meaningful at a brand whose founder spent so little time in his prime before his untimely death, yet somehow creating waves well into the 21st century?


There are gems in this collection without a doubt, just like there were gems in her previous collections for Dior. But a few key pieces here and there accented with a revival saddle bag isn’t enough to elevate her time at Dior, or even to merely make her mark in the fashion conversation at large.



As I watch the show, witnessing the models’ personal spaces being invaded by dancers in stage makeup writhing around on their toes, I can’t help but be reminded of Chiuri’s career. Season after season we have seen statements like feminist printed t-shirts, horse dancing, and cowboy hats from Chirui. These seem to be the dancers and we, the audience, are the models, painfully trying to avert our eyes as these distractions attempt to pull us away from the undeniable truth that no, there is no vision, there is no going forward from here.



  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White YouTube Icon

By Xavier Totor via Wix.com