Christian Dior Resort Collection 2019

Since taking the wheel at Christian Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has been on a mission to realign the historically male-helmed house as a rock of feminist values and icons. For her Resort show, held today Chantilly, a town known for delicate lace and horsey people, she took inspiration from the escaramuza riders, a group of great female rodeo riders from Mexico who she came to love through the photographs of Devin Doyle. She even flew in an eight-woman squad from Mexico for the show, outfitted in custom Dior, their galloping opening and closing the performance.

The traditional outfits of the escaramuza riders fit the Dior bill perfectly. Nipped, peplumed jackets over wildly voluminous skirts, red lips, and subtle yet gleaming jewelry. The fearless riders also only wear garments of cotton or linen because they are hard wearing, but they are always certain to jazz them up with some delicious embroidery. Their look is is a sort of earthy fabulous.

And the same can be said of many of the wonderful dresses created here by Chiuri for her fans. In a folky but refined way (hello tule), Chiuri takes the natural path of cotton and marries it with embroidery and other delightful embellishments. Cotton dresses re-embroidered with yet more lace, tiny wooden beads, and yes, fabulous tulle frills.

Other themes in this collection include polka dots and pleats, both Dior favourites, and toile de Jouy. The use of toile de Jouy is a statement of Chiuri’s love of representation. She does not shy away from fantastical creatures with a funky charm. Chiuri certainly brings a sense of humour that will be embraced by those looking to spice up some red carpets.

Off the runway: Louis Vuitton Cruise 2019

Last week Nicolas Ghesquière took to Instagram to announce that he had renewed his Louis Vuitton contract with the hashtag #notgoinganywhere. This week he made guests, including Emma Stone and Jennifer Connelly, trek up to the southern French hilltop village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence for the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2019 show. It was held at the Fondation Maeght, a private art foundation whose gardens are filled with works by the likes of Alberto Giacometti and Marc Chagall.

The Resort show, Ghesquière’s fifth for the house, was his most free and expressive so far.

Ghesquière collaborated with his friend, the stylist and former Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington, on a collection of bags based on the sketches she does of her beloved cats and his dog. Over-the-knee boot/sneaker hybrids also featured, and being an elaboration of the best-selling trainers of Spring ’18, they made the prim and proper pumps of the recent Fall collection look very out of place.

The clothes were fresh and cool, featuring 1980s shoulders and the same triangulated torsos of his recent collections, with 18th-century sleeves and silhouettes. Also making an appearance were lingerie dresses and tap pants in lace-trimmed silks with working girl jackets and moto bombers; and iridescent tops bristling with feathers shown with bags featuring illustrations of Grace Coddington’s cats.

Although Nicolas Ghesquière is #notgoinganywhere, Louis Vuitton is certainly moving forward, ahead of the game.