Simons’ departure from Dior was a shock to many. The fashion powerhouse was left abandoned to figure out what was going to happen to it with speculations arising on who was going to take over as creative director from Jonathan Saunders to Maria Grazia Chiuri being the names thrown into the mix. While the in-house design team took control over fashion weeks that followed without a creative directors lead, LVMH lead by Mr. Arnault were left to decide on who was going to take helm over from Simons’ departure. Fashion weeks later, it was announced that Maria Grazia Chiuri would depart Valentino leaving her partner-in-design Pierpaolo Piccioli and join Dior as the first woman to head up the house. Was this a risky and bold move? It was indeed. Let’s talk!
As soon as Chiuri was appointed, she had 6 weeks to create her collection; 6 weeks leading up to the possible failure to uphold the Dior legacy that is. With no time to study the archives at Dior, it was obvious that she would fall back on what she knew best, hence why the collection she presented had extraordinary similarities to the ones she designed at Valentino. Let’s face it though, Dior has not been the same ever since John Galliano was fired back in 2011. The silhouettes sent down the runway were odd, and some were ill-fitting. Her reference to ‘fencing’ was just so confusing and out of place. Chiuri, you don’t fence yourself, so what was that about?
In addition to that, the fact that t-shirts were seen down the runway is another thing that we do NOT need to talk about. What, how and when did pairing a t shirt with “we should all be feminists” with a flowy skirt become acceptable to be sent down not any runway, but down the Dior runway?! Dear Chiuri, we know it is quite an exciting time for you to be the first woman to head up the house of Dior, however sending down a literate interpretation of your excitement is just a big no no. You’re not at Moschino or Vetements, you’re at Dior, make it work!
Although the collection had a lot of Valentino-esque dreamy dresses and skirts, it is quite exciting to see what Chiuri may present later with no time pressure and more time to figure out the house she’s designing for. The patchy/ printed sheer garments were a slight indication that Chiuri can make it work, she is appealing to the consumers of tomorrow, the so-called Millennials, the ones who were brought up by the internet, hence why she joined at a time when Dior’s sales have been hit hard by the global luxury spending downturn and consumers’ appetite for smaller, original and less well distributed brands. I just wish she would not conform to the oversized sweaters; printed tees and boho-chic look that we’ve become forced to see with every designer, in every city and down every other runway. She needs to stand out, make Dior work for her benefit, much like how Alessandro did that at Gucci. She needs to bring the millennials to Dior and not Dior to the millennials. She just needs time to figure it out. Here’s to another chance, let’s see what she comes up with next.