Remember that feeling of exhilaration that consumes you as you walk into the big top? Your popcorn-stained hand tightly wound around your mother’s as she leads the way to your seats. The venue dims and suddenly a voice, larger than life, hollers out a welcome as your eyes squint with glee. Except in that circus, legends like Monica Bellucci and Bianca Jagger weren’t in the same tent as you.
Maria Grazia Chiuri
The star-studded front row, the dangling acrobats, the mesmerizing collection; the Christian Dior SS19 show was a marvel. The half white, half black ensembles flawlessly form human bridges as the models strut the collection, staying true to the theme with the clown faces. Whether their makeup, hair bonnets, and face nets conjure childhood phobia or a jolly good time, there’s no denying it was a magical show.
The circus theme is no stranger to the fashion scene; Victoria Beckham’s fantastical shapes rocked her Pre-Spring 2016 pieces and Jeremy Scott’s multicolor teardrops in the Moschino Spring Summer Resort 2019 show was the perfect touch to the collection. However there’s something about this show that follows a perfect combination of playfulness and elegance, and the striking mélange of them both.
Chiuri previously has preached to Vogue that “women supporting each other is the future”, so it was no surprise that the acrobats hired were all females. The collection featured mini dresses with ruffs for collars and structured skirts resembling those of a jester, with equally lively shoes to compliment the intended accents. Boasting of white, black, and red, the dresses resembled the patterns of the fabrics used to build up mobile circus tents.
The jokers were there, and so were the ringleaders. An amalgamation between power dressing and an ode to the master of ceremonies, the suits were structured and boasted of impeccable embroidery on the chest part. The hyperbolic tulle bows kept the outfit playful enough to wear on a night out, while the hand-on-hand necklace kept us thinking of underlying messages Chiuri might be throwing our way.
Aside from the melting pot of colours, the black ensembles unlocked womanpower in an unparalleled way. The chiffon with the bellowing sleeves paired with the floor length plisse black and diamond skirt was one of our favourites, alongside the see-through sultry piece with the same statement sleeves and amplified bows.
Sparkles and softer shades also took part in the spectacle, because how is it an haute couture circus without the glitz and pizzazz? Look out for the glitter tights and bodysuits, because they seem to be getting on the fashion scene this season.
Chiuri kept us on our feet with the sudden pops of colours, whether fused in a mini dress, or embroidered in a skirt like a chequered box, the ensembles stayed true to the understated embellishment that was prevalent all throughout the show.
Is it a Dior show without the opulent gowns that make us wish we had worthy-enough events to be wearing them at?
Knowing that the creative director is keen on activism in fashion and reminiscing on her famous moment in September 2016 when she debuted her collection for Dior with the “We should all be feminists.” shirt, do you think the circus motif lends itself to a bigger theme? Is it distinctively playful to remind us of Christian Dior’s “there is no beauty without happiness” quote, or is it fear of society masked with colourful insanity and genius? We’ll leave that to you.