DIOR: COUTURE SS24
There’s an undoubted kinship between Maria Grazia Chiuri the couturier whose masterful manipulation of cloth is at the heart of her success at Dior and the 93-year-old artist Isabella Ducrot who works with fabric. The artist created a large-scale fabric installation as a backdrop to a Dior show which focused on the drop dead beauty of couture cloth.
The collection opened with a symphony of beige cotton looks, which brought to mind rain macs crossed with cocktail dresses – tucked, draped, nipped, toggled and cardinal caped – they were at once simple and sumptuous. Practical and precious mixed as Chiuri set the tone for a collection of precision-cut, wearable delights.
She amped up her ode to beautiful fabric with a section of bar jackets and full skirted dresses in silk moiré – made with an age-old technique which buffs the fabric to create a rich rippling 3D reflective surface. A staple of courtly dress in the 18th Century and worn by popes and monarchs it telegraphs stately grandeur. Alongside a perfection of cut, there was plenty of the haute touches at Dior. Chiuri layered dense-but-divine floral embroideries on full skirts and cocktail dresses or crafted gleaming lace skirts from what looked like silver bullion thread. The intricate arrangements of pin tucks and gathers on a flowing goddess gown belied its simplicity, whilst feathers swooshing across a bodice, added a heavenly touch.
Couture is precious. These clothes will be packed off to their owners in acid free tissue, and taken out for life’s big occasions – weddings, birthdays, board meetings, red carpets – when their owners want the ultimate confidence boost of wearing something that comes as close to perfection as you can get. Fit, cut, detail, proportion, line, decoration – everything finessed to create that special couture magic. When a garment comes with Dior stitched onto the label, that’s a guarantee.