We never tire of Dior’s ability to bring together the classical and the innovative – to be sure, the house continues to set the pace for the industry while still finding ways to invoke its rich heritage.
And once again our expectations were exceeded, as Dior delivered a stunner at their Spring/Summer 2020 runway show at Paris Fashion Week. In an homage to the legendary couturier’s sister Catherine, an avid gardener – who was actually best known as a key figure in the Resistance against the Nazis during World War II – the theme of the collection, and the show, was that of a garden.
Dior Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri explains, “I started this collection by thinking about a key inspiration for Christian Dior: the garden…which Catherine Dior, his sister, grew and nurtured as a professional florist.”
Against a scenography of live trees inside the venue, Chiuri unveiled a collection inspired by photographs of Catherine, in which she appears amidst her flowers. The set was conceived as an “inclusive garden,” unfolding across a wealth of plant species, and raising questions about the role of everything living on our planet. The traveling grove used in the show, which will ultimately be planted, celebrates the biodiversity of wooded spaces and other elements of sustainability.
And indeed, biodiversity is celebrated via the integration of floral motifs against avant-garde silhouettes throughout the bold collection. For Spring/Summer 2020 ready-to-wear, Chiuri was featuring nature, in light of contemporary challenges. (Dior went as far as to create a short film around Emanuele Coccia, author of the newly released book The Life of Plants.)
“It appeared essential to me that this legacy be addressed with a new perspective,” she enthuses. “Flowers and plants don’t just serve an ornamental purpose, they are our environment. We have a commitment to care for them, today more than ever.”
Of course, we love the awareness raised in the theme as much as the designs themselves, as a new era of environmental consciousness takes over high fashion.