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Autumn-Winter 2018-19
Haute Couture Show

July 02, 2018 - Paris -
2:30PM (GMT+02)

“Curiously, perhaps, it is the inherent disorderliness of desire and subjectivity that makes both Lacanian psychoanalysis and avant-garde art so remarkably radical, and renders them both ideal for a negotiation of the bizarre creations of couture.” 

Alison Bancroft*

Is it possible to celebrate haute couture while also offering a critical reading of it?

Is it possible to stay faithful to the strict rules decreed by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture** while breaking them down to create a new order?

These are the questions that Maria Grazia Chiuri raises in this autumn-winter 2018-2019 haute couture collection and following the exhibition “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams”, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, which, by placing the spotlight on the haute couture creations, paid tribute to the sacred and timeless place that is the atelier.

The ateliers are temples, guardians of thought and ideas. It is at the heart of this notion of couture – with its series of images, shapes, colors and moods – that the creative vision of Maria Grazia Chiuri unfolds. Couture is an example of the avant-garde, an art form that develops through imagination. A reflection that cultivates the boldness to repeating codified gestures while seeking to challenge and overturn them. Because couture today is, above all, a conceptual gesture. Like a Marcel Duchamp ready-made.

Sometimes it’s the fabrics that take the lead, produced in age-old mills that can only weave a few meters at a time and which have been tasked with introducing an unusual element or a new aspect of savoir-faire, each material capable of undergoing modifications to unexpectedly accentuate its effect. At other times, the initial idea comes from the desire to redefine the ritual and manner of dressing according to the various times and occasions that punctuate a day. Haute couture offers the opportunity to wear a quality that’s unique, to adapt a perfect work to one’s own body. Maria Grazia Chiuri returns to the fundamentals and designs suits in which the Bar jacket develops batwing sleeves. The real transgression lies in referring to the rules for use while twisting their syntax.

The powdery palette (brick, green, pink and orange), interacting with nude, colors the clothes but also the accessories – refined costume jewelry, veil and hats – in a complementary continuity of the body on which couture places the emphasis. Evening dresses, rendered dazzling by their mix of pleating and layering, contrast with simple bustiers which offer a surprising dissonance. The sculptural form of a red silk dress sewn from a single piece of fabric opens the way to a series of majestic and intimate creations, both restrained and explosive: couture, in the process, becoming a psychological place of female resistance.

Alison Bancroft, in a Lacanian sense, equates couture with the mode of expression of the avant-garde movements: reappropriation of secular practices rejected in a desire for newness and reinterpretation of traditions through contemporary values. It is through this encounter between a system of established rules and the freest creativity that, for Maria Grazia Chiuri, couture becomes akin to rebellion: a kind of ideological “guerrilla” that explodes on the frontiers of entrenched tradition, without ever overstepping them.

*Inspiring Desire: Lacan, Couture, and the Avant-gardeFashion Theory

**“The original models are created exclusively by the head of the house or its permanent sample makers; (...) they are produced only in its own ateliers...

Definition offered by Didier Grumbach in Dictionnaire de la Mode au XXe Siècle (Editions du Regard, Paris, 1994).

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The Silhouettes

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Set Design

Maria Grazia Chiuri unveiled her autumn-winter 2018-2019 haute couture collection for the House in the gardens of the Musée Rodin in Paris. Discover the show scenography.  

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Celebrities

From coding superstar Karlie Kloss to fashion guru Chiara Ferragni, today’s front row was filled with strong, stylish women who made the Dior Autumn-Winter 2018-2019 Haute Couture show even more unforgettable.

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Accessories

Discover the details and the inspiration behind the accessories designed for the Autumn-Winter 2018-19 Haute Couture collection, presented at the Musée de Rodin.

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Backstage

Behind the scenes at the Autumn-Winter 2018-19 Haute Couture show.

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Streetstyle

Focus on the Dior looks of the guests present at the Autumn-Winter 2018-19 Haute Couture show.

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Interview with Maria Grazia Chiuri

Womenswear creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, talks to us exclusively about her new collection.

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Savoir-Faire

The savoir-faire of Dior expressed through images of pieces from the Autumn-Winter 2018-19 collection.

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Make-up

For the House’s autumn-winter 2018-2019 haute couture show, Peter Philips, the Creative and Image Director of Dior Makeup, conceived a fresh and bright beauty look.  

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