Artwork by Anna Jay.
The question of whether or not Fashion can (and should) be political has been floating around every runway, city after city. How would the fashion industry, one of the most powerful and influential in the world, respond (if at all) to divisive topics, like a Donald J. Trump presidency, or Brexit? Is it a designer's place to engage in conversations about the current state of the world, using their craft to highlight their position on said climate? Or, should their art be just that...art, free from any personal feelings, allowing their audience to make their own assumptions regarding its meaning?
, carving out a new future not just for Dior, but for the women who wear it.
At debut of the new Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri, its first female designer: "Feminist is a recurring word for her" pic.twitter.com/xhBdwXDrVz— Matthew Schneier (@MatthewSchneier) September 30, 2016
According to the show notes, Grazia Chiuri looked to blue because it is a "symbol of power, beauty, and spirituality [that] is employed for genderless outfits and to express differences. It is positioned between nature and culture as the color of the spirit, of contact with the infinite, in us and beyond. It initiates a link to the mystery of the moon, the comets and planets that explode on evening dresses of opulent velvet or on degrade tulle that blends into the blue-grey of embroidered lily flowers. Blue fascinates through its emotional resonance, but also its social quality. It encapsulates a real cross-section in terms of gender, age, and social class.”
In his 1954 book, The Little Dictionary of Fashion, Christian Dior wrote: "Among all the colors, navy blue is the only one which can ever compete with black, it has all the same qualities." It would make sense then, that one of Dior's favorite colors was featured so heavily (in the form of denim boiler suits, velvet dresses, tulle gowns, ruffled, tiered skirts, knitwear, (now-signature) bustier dresses, and wide-leg jeans), occasionally punctuated with black and white pieces.
This symbolism is particularly poignant when considering the variety of silhouettes offered: In the collection, there was daywear and evening wear; there were pieces that felt more androgynous alongside ones that were overtly feminine (think: frocks with swirling constellations embroidered above the hem). Basically, Grazia Chiuri’s mission for Dior to cater to every kind of modern woman succeeded.