Dior -A delicate Balance – Spring 2019

Dior SS19 Couture collection – Paris Fashion Week

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By Tony Glenville

Dior SS19 Couture collection – Fashion Week
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Back in the early days of the creation of the House of Dior, Monsieur Dior set out to show he would not be limited to just creating clothes to sustain the business, he would work in a diverse number of ways.

Movies like Valse de Paris or ballets for Roland Petit would also be part of his repertoire of design, not just the seasonal Christian Dior collections. In the late 1940’s the new romantic world, Lila de Nobili, Eugene Bergman, and many others had a fascination with The Saltimbanques, clowns, and the celebration of strolling entertainers as a key creative thread.

As well, the circus theme  from Schiaparelli to many other designers, were fascinated by these images, and much later fashion turned to exoticism. The Comedia dell Arte, the Grimaldi clowns, and the entire harlequinade inspired; from the ruffs and bows to the silhouettes.

Maria Grazia Chiuri acknowledges the heritage of the house without slavishly copying or over referencing. As we approached the Dior “Big Top” we sensed a special fashion show, and we were not disappointed.

The washed tones of the inside of the tents and the oddly sparse ropes of lights, spoke not of the mad bright circus but of nostalgia, mystery and escapism.

The tumblers and acrobatic team were all female, of a great diversity, dressed in sharp monochrome and Accrington as an overture and a physically human arc into the show.

The collection was wonderfully varied with long soft skirts one minute, broad shouldered clown silhouettes the next. Here was a neat fluid suit, then next came a intricately pleated party dress. Although there were some bright colours, a bandsman’s red frogged jacket, the predominant feeling was soft.

The metallics and shimmer was closer to sunlight than gold, the truly magnificent pleated Fortuny meets Madame Grès dresses having a soft shimmer and lustre to them.

Tulle and mousseline floated in a high-wire act of technical dexterity, from feathery bows, and tiny dresses, to floating gowns. Even the most complex decorated couture pieces were softened and sweetened with effervescent sparkle, and the endless variations on the neck ruffle from a tiny standing ruche to a portrait collar were really lovely and not costume at all.

If Monsieur Dior and Christian Berard were watching they would certainly have applauded, it was a circus of marvels.

TG.

 

Dior SS19 Couture collection – Photos

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