You can always tell a Dior Couture dress by the way it moves down the runway. When the fabric is light, skirts move like water. When it is heavy, they have a satisfying swish to them, reminding us of Christian Dior's first sketches of the 40s, where heavy, voluminous skirts swiftly became one of the house codes.
Everything is still connected. A sentiment that Maria Grazia Chiuri embodied for the Dior Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022-23 collection. With Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko serving as a key touchpoint, Chiuri designed a collection grounded in the idea of the tree of life. Connecting all forms of creation, the emblem is at the heart of Trofymenko's work, and acts as a starting point for Chiuri, who contemplates the idea through her lens, cracking art open and offering a collection of pieces that explore folkloric customs.
For Dior Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022-23, the tree appears in different iterations down the runway, woven into cotton, silk, wool crepe, and cashmere. The first exit is quintessentially Dior. A crisp white button down shirt with bell sleeves and soft, floral embroidery lining the buttons. It's paired with a white cotton tiered prairie skirt and an expert amount of flounce. There is as much whimsy to the look as there is strength, setting the tone for the rest of the collection.
What ensued was dresses that were adorned with patchworks of braids crafted of bronze and black lace guipure. Cotton and chiffon dresses turned to thick, durable lace halfway down skirts, while airy silk chiffon dresses melted through the space, softening any sharp lines. More so than last season's Haute Couture show, the collection nodded heavily to Dior's New Look silhouette. Skirts are full, necklines are cut low and scooped. The Bar Jacket returns with vertically smocked fabric, while intricately embroidered capes balance on the shoulders. The palette this season was quiet and reserved. Bright ivory and muted beige was intercepted with deep reds, pops of mustard, black, gold, and turquoise. It was opulent but not gaudy, offering a sense of optimism in a moment in fashion that seems once again a little strange to be consuming.
A favourite look, exit 57, was a black silk gauze strapless gown with intricate pleating across the bust, acting as a perfect collision between Chiuri's world of Dior and the one Monsieur Dior created. This is what Fall Winter 2022-23 was about – gestures that have been passed on, a nod to tradition. From Chiuri's bold, risk taking, relentlessly modern tendencies for her ready-to-wear collections, Haute Couture offers a moment of pause, to reframe what has been and what will soon come. To appreciate the Savoir-Faire of the House of Dior and dive back into the archives, reminding us of why you can always tell a Dior Couture dress by the way it moves down the runway.
Watch the Dior Haute Couture Fall Winter 2022-23 show, below.