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Dior Pre-Fall 2018

Gender differences are so last century.
Maria Grazia Chiuri, who keeps close tabs on Millennial attitudes through her daughter and muse Rachele Regini, has been touting a feminist agenda since taking over design duties at Dior in 2016 — all the while, paying homage to highly specific facets of the French fashion house’s 70-year heritage.
In her pre-fall collection, she found a point of convergence between the two. The lineup, which mixed graphic men’s tailoring with her signature diaphanous evening gowns, was inspired by Surrealist artist Claude Cahun, best known for her photographic self-portraits in which she adopted a variety of guises.
Chiuri decided to explore this period after seeing the Dior retrospective at Les Arts Décoratifs, which wrapped last week after a record-breaking run. It included a room devoted to the couturier’s early career as a gallerist, and his friendships with Surrealists including Jean Cocteau and André Breton.
With her gender-ambiguous pseudonym and fondness for role-playing, Cahun makes an ideal muse for a generation craving new ways of defining themselves.
“At that time, in Paris, the modern woman was born,” said Chiuri, pointing at a mood board filled with images of the shaven-headed artist. “In a way, it’s very close to the idea that

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