If there is one thing that Maria Grazia Chiuri cannot be faulted on, it's her dedication to couture. Since her days at Valentino with Pierpaolo, she has demonstrated a precise knack for offering a vision that appeals to both the Haute Couture client and fashion commentators. For the Christian Dior Fall 23 Haute Couture show, this fact did not falter.
It was a procession of 65 looks, all goddess-like as is her signature at Dior. If minimalism is what we've been yearning for, Chiuri offered it in spades. 17 pure white looks arrived, like a cortège of classicism. Vertical pleats created a column-like effect as their heavy fabric moved like thickened cream, structured capes hung from shoulders and swept the floor. Elsewhere, waify organza shirts were nipped at the waist to create a sincerely modern interpretation of a peplum, as were expertly cut jackets which were paired with fluid cotton column skirts. In contrast, there were tunic dresses, all loose and waist-less for the ultra-conservative and ultra-sophisticated.
It was a true expression of the interplay between minimalism and intricacy, striking a skilful balance between sobering cuts and delicate lattice work and beading. Modesty was intercepted by open-beaded tops and layers of sheer chiffon, and the former was demonstrated with jackets layered over skirts and dresses and paired with jacquard pants. The Bar Jacket was offered in a kind of luminescent woven fabrication (not quite jacquard, not quite lurex), supplied with matching pants and structured dresses and evening coats in the same fabric.
Tracing back to her Roman upbringing, here Chiuri explores the ancient greek and roman goddess archetype with pleated skirts and gilded lace. The gladiator sandal is explored and updated as flat thongs with leather that extends up the calf, offering a kind of boot/sandal hybrid that we've seen on runways in past seasons. Studying the iconographies of various goddesses, Chiuri used these women and deities as a touchpoint to present these archetypal ideas and, as always, bring them into a modern framework. There is little to do but witness her birth these creations into the world just as they are.
Watch the full Christian Dior Fall 23 Haute Couture show, below.