For the fall/winter 2021 collection Maria Grazia Chiuri has explored the magical world of fairy tales, showing also its darker side. It connects the fairy tale with a more distorted reality. Disturbing Beauty, the title of the collection, was presented in the Gallery of Mirrors at Versailles, which at the golden age of the French monarchy, served as a tool to further amplify the gestures and opulence of the institution. What Chiuri proposes is a rewriting of fairy-tale codes in a new key, where the stylized silhouettes of the characters take the shapes and colors of modern life.
A first example of this new narrative is the silhouette of the tin man, reinterpreted here with blue cashmere coats, with red and white backgrounds on the back. The lamé, the lurex and the jacquard effects remain to recall the initial character. More delicate elements, such as lace, gold and silver threads, soften some silhouettes, and are very reminiscent of the look of Alice in Wonderland, as well as the ballerina shoes intertwined on the legs.
The laces discharge the density of black on the opaque mini dresses. Black is also taken up in the classic Bar jackets, here reinterpreted in down jacket and decorated with cannage, another exemplary element of Dior DNA. The hoods on the coats wink at Little Red Riding Hood.
The fantasy of roses and the tartan on the garments clearly refer to the Beauty and the Beast, a classic loved by Chiuri, especially the film remake by Jean Cocteau. The overlapping tulle on evening dresses clearly recall the princesses’ dreamy gowns. The motif of the mirror here is central, just remember the sense of attraction and repulsion that the prince had with the mirror, the only window to the outside world and within himself.
Along with the shoes mentioned just before, we also find white collars and socks up above the knee, scarves and headbands, reminiscent of childhood memories. The Gallery of Mirrors metaphorically symbolizes an invitation to self affirmation, reinforced by the works of Silvia Giambrone. But also a kind of warning to not to lose sight of reality. The contrast between the fairy tales and the harsh, real world is very clear.
Dior’s fashion in this fall/winter 2021 collection is nostalgic but with an eye pointed always on the future; childhood and fairy tales are today like never before an escape tool, here completed with a warning meaning, as the morals did at the end of the stories. Chiuri’s conceptual and reasoned designs convey a powerful and evocative modernity, by mixing youth to maturity, and resulting in a conscious fashion where femininity is invested with political meaning.