“Are we still in a pandemic?” a seatmate asked. Short answer: yes, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it from Dior’s spring/summer 2022 presentation. Entering the storied French house’s show in the Jardin des Tuileries felt like muscling your way through a jam-packed nightclub, in large part thanks to Blackpink member and brand ambassador Jisoo, whose appearance sent shockwaves on social media and incited a veritable stampede amongst the K-pop stans in the crowd.
Inside, the scene was similarly chaotic, albeit through Maria Grazia Chiuri’s clever mind tricks. Famous for modernizing the Dior aesthetic, the creative director transported us to the early 1960s—specifically Marc Bohan’s “Slim Look” collection made for (you guessed it) slim and young body types. The walls were scrawled with literal nonsense—numbered wheels, stop signs, and French phrases like “LE IEU QUIN’E ISTE PAS” (translation: “the god who doesn’t exist”)—courtesy of artist Anna Paparatti and inspired by her colorful work Il Gioco del Nonsense (2021).
Chiuri choreographed the sequence of subtle and nuanced movements for models to a specific rhythm, and, according to the press notes, was captivated by Paparatti’s uncanny ability to “explore the concept of play as a space for questioning reality and opening the doors to the imagination.” Electro music by Il Quadro di Troisi blared through the speakers, eventually reaching a crescendo; the lights flashed, disco balls spun up above, and head bobbing ensued.
The resulting looks were playful and fun, yet serious. Ideal for post-pandemic life, the graphic, color-blocked collection offered something for every part of your day: boxer-inspired loungewear to WFH in, tailored skirt suits for our eventual return to the office, and sparkly mini dresses with fringe detailing well-suited to a raucous night on the dance floor. Some designs were 3D embroidered; others utilized materials like scuba and nylon to experiment with proportions and volumes. High heel naysayers will be pleased that flats were unanimous across the collection, from lug-sole boots to Mary Janes and gladiator lace-ups. Your tired feet can rest another season!
As we continue to embrace social distancing and inch slowly toward a new normal, Chiuri challenges us to have fun with fashion again. Even in the darkest of times, she seems to suggest, we can dance.
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