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Spring-Summer 2018
Ready-to-Wear Show

September 26, 2017 - Paris -
2:30PM (GMT+02)

“As in all fairy tales, before finding the treasure, on my way I met dragons, witches, magicians and the angel of temperance.”
Niki de Saint Phalle

During her research in the Dior archives, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Artistic Director of the women's collections, had her interest piqued by a series of photographs of Niki de Saint Phalle. On one of them, the artist can be seen on a camel, on others, she’s posing for Dior during the tenure of her great friend Marc Bohan, then creative head of the House. Embodying the beauty of her time, more adolescent than androgynous, small and fiery, she exhibits a style of dressing that’s both iconic and personal, and current in its proportions and whimsy. Her life is the stuff of literature. At the time of the liberation of women, Niki de Saint Phalle threw herself into a close relationship with art, the world and herself. Like all artists, she was driven by her emotions. And it is this feminine creativity that speaks to Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Why have there not been great women artists? This is the question posed by Linda Nochlin's essay in 1971, which also called out to Maria Grazia Chiuri. It is necessary to give these different and specific artists their due, for it’s they who break the mold of the traditionally male discourse in art history, and in fashion. These are the Nanas, sculptures of extraordinary women, but also the multicolored hearts, the dragons, the tree of love, and the exaggerated and over-the-top masterwork, the Tarot Garden in Tuscany, which become patterns, broken embroideries and mirror mosaics in Maria Grazia Chiuri’s collection and the show scenography. She is not afraid to take Niki de Saint Phalle’s exuberantly colorful palette and to make it dialogue with lace, silk, leather or plastic.

This collection, inspired by the artist, also makes reference to Marc Bohan, and his little dresses and jumpsuits, sometimes teamed with full skirts opening at the front. There are also large polka dots, black and white checks, trousers worn with ordinary or safari jackets, and teamed, according to mood, with men 's shirts featuring fine stripes or polka dots, or of a romantic white: all borrowings from the vocabulary of Marc Bohan. Finally, the collection’s atmosphere and references, whether explicit or implicit, lead us into the heady turbulence of the 1960s, illustrative of the changing forces of these female universes. They change not only fashion, but the contemporary world, too.

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The Silhouettes


Set Design

Just like the collection itself, the show’s scenography was inspired by the art of Niki de Saint Phalle. And, more specifically, by one of her major works baptized the Tarot Garden, a sculpture park located in Tuscany that displays the tarot symbols rising from the grandeur of nature. Begun at the end of the 1970s, the project was completed by the artist’s passing in 2002. With its metal frame covered in concrete, the Paris structure that welcomed the show guests was made employing the same techniques as Niki de Saint Phalle for her architectural artworks. Inside, eighty-two thousand shimmering mirror pieces covered the walls and floor in a series of mosaics to magically reflect Maria Grazia Chiuri’s designs as they sashayed by. 

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Before hitting the catwalk, the models pose backstage wearing Maria Grazia Chiuri's latest creations.

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It wouldn't be a #DiorSS18 show without our enviable #StarsinDior in attendance!

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Interview with Maria Grazia Chiuri

In an exclusive interview, the Artistic Director shares her thoughts on Niki de Saint Phalle, and discusses how she revisited the artist’s life and work in her Spring-Summer 2018 Ready-to-Wear collection.

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From the House's iconic t-shirts to long embroidered skirts to handbags from the latest collections, Adam Katz Sinding documents the street style of the guests head to toe in Dior as they arrive at the show venue.

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For the House’s Spring-Summer 2018 Ready-to-Wear Show, Peter Philips, the Creative and Image Director of Dior Makeup, developed a beauty look that focuses on assertive and expressive eyes.

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Interview with Peter Philips

Peter Philips, the Creative and Image Director of Dior Makeup, speaks to us about his inspirations and the beauty look he conceived for this week’s ready-to-wear show.  

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In the vocabulary of Niki de Saint Phalle, strong colors mean love, joy and happiness. Her work is filled with contrasting, constantly interacting shades. The Dior-wearing women sported colorful jewelry inspired by the artist’s sculptures: serpent rings, long necklace with heart pendants, or Dior Tribales in a play of multicolored mosaics, with each colored component made by an artisan glassmaker based in Murano, Venice. The footwear championed freedom of movement: lace-up high boots were cut from black or silver mesh, and Mary Janes were in black patent leather or decorated with mirror embroidery. As for the bags, Maria Grazia Chiuri designed a sixties-vibe, black and white check Lady Dior; she also revisited the Dior Oblique canvas, created by Marc Bohan in the 1970s, for a tote destined for casual carrying. The Artistic Director of the women's collections also took inspiration from the world of Niki de Saint Phalle by transposing the artist’s colorful palette onto the Dioraddict and J'adior, and also by utilizing her dragon motif.

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With identical reproductions of Niki de Saint Phalle’s colorful drawings, sequins imitating the mosaics of the artist’s sculptures, and pale tulle flowers inspired by her Les Mariées series of works, the ready-to-wear spring-summer 2018 collection designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri is a powerful statement of the savoir-faire and art of detail the House’s ateliers can boast.  

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360° Video

Watch the presentation of the Spring-Summer 2018 collection as if you were sitting in the front row, exclusively on DiorTV.

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