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 Chiuriâ€™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.