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Fashion: Debut’s Haute Couture Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017 Highlights: Maria Grazia Chiuri’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Dior

Following one of fashion’s most exciting weeks – Couture Fashion Week – Debut reviews our favourite collections, examining the inspirations behind the clothes and picking out our favourite looks.

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Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Couture Week debut as Artistic Director for Dior started not with a bang so much as a bewitchment. Set in a labyrinthine forest lush with leaves, the show transported guests into a world where models were fairies and wood nymphs and clothes were otherworldly. A trick Oberon and Puck would be impressed by? Indeed.

It was this concept of the Labyrinth, both literally – guests had to navigate a mossy path into the set, unsettled by the mirrored walls and ceilings – and metaphorical, that set the dominant theme for the collection. Chiuri not only invited her guests to physically trace their way to the runway, but also to journey into the “heart of the Dior world […] in to the Dior ateliers.” As such, no matter their romantic tone, pieces also made strong evocations to iconic Dior silhouettes; the Bar Suit and the Bubble Dress make appearances.

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Like any good Brothers Grimm fairy tale the froths of ruffled tulle, silk flowers pressed onto bodices, cheeks and eyes dusted with golden stars and tiaras of flora, fauna and feather were underpinned with something dark and sinister. Bronzed thorns and serpents encircled necks and waists, velvet capes and collars evoked Maleficent, and Stephen Jones insect-, bird-, and bat-shaped masks obscured models faces.

No matter the storybook theme, the collection remains firmly of today. Crisply tailored trouser suits and jackets, kitten heels and military details anchor the mysticism and magic of the scene. The result recalls Christian Dior’s legacy, the theatricality and dream-like quality of John Galliano’s tenure, and the modernity of Raf Simmon’s Dior.

Words by Esther Newman
Tweet @estherbnewman

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