Dior Brings The Haute Couture Circus to Town

Maria Grazia-Chiuri was inspired by Christian Dior’s fascination with the circus for this collection at Paris Fashion Week.

Opening under thousands of fairly lights strewn across a dimly-lit runway, the scene at Dior Haute Couture in Paris today took place under a circus tent.

Coming off of Dior’s Spring 2019 show that was heavily influenced by dance-wear and featured a choreographed performance, this collection was ushered onto the runway by London-based acrobatic company, Mimbre, wearing bisected black and white jumpsuits. Performing swift acrobatic routines in pairs, the performers began balancing on each others shoulders, slowly forming a human arch that morphed into abstract human structures that the models walked through.

In Maria Grazia-Chiuri’s notes, she wrote: “The circus is a magical place. The imagination of many artists has been stimulated by the fascination for a world that is both wondrous and raw, poetic and and indispensable.” Christian Dior himself had a fascination with the circus, particularly the Cirque d’Hiver, the location of photographer Richard Avedon’s most famous image, “Dovima and the Elephants”, of which Chiuri derived inspiration for this collection from.

The show opened with a deeply cut black dress, a statement red double breasted ringleader suit, sheer patterned shirts, and tulle everywhere. Beaded, glittering swim caps topped every look alongside some understated mime makeup. The Harlequin character and mime costumes were obvious references, with graphic patterns in classic black, white, and red colors and a lot of stripes stood out alongside some elegant gold and white flowing gowns, a Maria Grazia-Chiuri staple.

Voluminous tulle sleeves were a recurring motif, alongside the eye-catching staples of sheer crinoline-structured dresses and dramatic tuxedo silhouettes. Sparkle was absolutely everywhere, with glittering, elephant printed mini dresses, shimmering leggings and shorts, 3D metallic patterns, and glittery flats.

Closing with an acrobat-model interaction, the performers carried model Selena Forrest down the runway in a dramatic finale.


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