Dior's Autumn/Winter '21 Collection Evokes the 'Disturbing Beauty' of Fairytales

Dior's Autumn/Winter '21 Collection Evokes the 'Disturbing Beauty' of Fairytales


Dior's Autumn/Winter '21 Collection Evokes the 'Disturbing Beauty' of Fairytales

Live streamed at Paris Fashion Week from the Palace of Versailles, Dior turns the damsel archetype of fairytales on its head.

Live streamed at Paris Fashion Week from the Palace of Versailles, Dior turns the damsel archetype of fairytales on its head.

Text: Trishna Rikhy

The ticking of a clock; a moonlight ritual; the shadows of fog haunting a palace at the break of dawn. There is a Disturbing Beauty in the precious chill of all things, an intimately unsettling symbiosis reflected in the Dior Autumn/Winter 2021-2022 collection.

Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors distorts into a twisted, darker version of itself, a setting for the arcane fairytale created by Maria Grazia Chiuri. We are entrapped in the upside-down world of the Grimm Brothers, fashion turned atop its head to delve into a fantasy world, the lines between fiction and reality stitched together, a figment formed of reinvention. 


As models clad in nude bodysuits writhe along the walls of the Hall of Mirrors, a story is set forth before us: one of restructured feminine magic, Little Red Riding hood and the Tin Man turned atop their heads, donning cashmere coats and fitted dresses, capes and hoods in Dior’s unearthed fable.

Pervading the mind and tickling the vision of a majestic fantasy already formed, Dior subverts princesses and heroines, reasserting them into a fixed stance of intention and affirmation. The world of fairytales is a gilded book by which the narrative is reworked, stereotypes and archetypes undone and revisited by Dior in a largely black, bold collection, punctuated with fantasy-world red and blue, hinting at a darkened femme maturity. 


The realm of fantasy is broached widely under Chiuri’s vision, combining elements of graceful feminine drapery and hard-edged, bold skins of armor. The knight in shining armor is revisited as a series of blue cashmere coats with red and white embellishments; shimmery lame fabrics and Lurex jacquards are fit for royalty, embedding wide silhouettes with a metallic shine; as if by magic, gold and silver threads give the appearance of an otherworldliness, the kind of innate and inconceivable power only found in fairytales. Red permeates the dynamic functionality of black and white, adorning capes and hooded raincoats, mimicking Beauty and the Beast on tartans with an archival rose motif. 

Rare is a fairytale made complete without the presence of a ball; ready-to-wear tumbles into evening gowns for princesses and faeries, made with layered tulle that seems to vanish into thin air, a delicate, gossamer contrast to the white ruffles and babydoll collars of daytime dresses and shirts, an ode to childhood wonder.


Doused in otherworldly grimness and stitched with modern luxury, standout looks of the collection are the looks in between the lines of fairytales, the coming together of this world and the other. A glossy black dress is a princess saturated in midnight, capped sleeves and a flared waist giving the suggestion of innocence; a long, sapphire blazer is paired with a sheer black skirt and knee-high boots, academia intertwining with the very idea of magic; and the Queen of Hearts is personified by two evening gowns, one a long-sleeved, black and white check print adorned with ruby roses, the other a heart-silhouette brandished across the chest, a tumbling tulle skirt spilling out from under it.

Accessories are given all the simplicity of a fable-world setting and all the delicate luxury of Dior. Black and white boots are tied to the shins with a satiny black ribbon; caps are simple, fitted, a contemporary take on a knight’s battle helmet; headscarves with simple, monochrome prints and patterns are wrapped around the neck and hair, Little Red Riding Hood come to face the wolf. 


Shop Dior and view the full Autumn/Winter 2021-2022 ready-to-wear collection here.

Credits: Images courtesy of Dior


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