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When I think of Dior I picture the character Blair Waldorf, from the infamous US TV series Gossip Girl, arriving at the prestigious Constance school for girls on the Upper East Side; or the iconic Audrey Hepburn, who modelled for Dior in the 1950s.
Dior, to me, is like art. It is the epitome of elegance and sophistication. It is Paris in the 1940s; slim silhouettes and Haute Couture. The very beginning of luxury designer female clothing and hand-crafted perfection. It is a brand that has adapted to luxury streetwear style with the Dior saddle bag being the most popular and classic handbag of the decade; it has been featured all over social media with many wanting to get their hands grasped around their own!
Dior videos have always been one of my favourites to watch and the scenes of the designers and creators in the Atelier working by hand is so satisfying. It is beautiful. It is an art. The Le Mythe Dior film directed by Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone was no exception. Showcasing Maria Grazis Chiuri’s 2020-2021 Haute Couture Collection, this creative film represents the magic and beauty of the French Couture brand during the uncertain times we face today. With inspiration from artists such as Lee Miller, Dora Maar and Jacqueline Lamba we delve into the future of the fashion industry digitally.
The opening scenes inside the Atelier of the seamstresses making miniature versions of the couture dresses are perfect. It emphasises the delicacy of these women, sewing the gorgeous dresses by hand. It is such a delight to see. It is a happy place, somewhere I want to be. I wish I was trying on all those dresses. The film then shifts to Haute Couture which I actually loved: the collection is stunning. For many other brands featuring their collections on the runway during Fashion Week, I always question, ‘Who is ever going to wear that in real life?’. However, Chiuri’s collection is sleek, beautiful, classic and elegant; something I could imagine Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City wearing. No surprise really, as Dior embodies all those things to me.
Mermaids, nymphs and other fantasy creatures in the picturesque, scenic fairytale world they created were weird yet wonderful. It almost provides an escape from the world we live in today during the pandemic, providing a better world far away. Chiuri actually spoke of the film stating that, ‘surrealist images manage to make visible what is in itself invisible.’ I love this quote! I almost feel at peace watching it as I escape the unsettling world I currently live in. It makes you feel as though the world around you fades away into this unique fairytale land. If I had to critique it, I would say that I would love to see more of the dresses and more scenes of the atelier, bringing it back to real day-to-day lives to really incorporate the times we face. It is such a shame that this beautiful collection could not be showcased in real life during Fashion Week this coming September!
The film came at an ideal time. The luxury fashion industry is suffering severely with Rolex and Chanel being among the many other brands discontinuing the production of certain goods sold, such as the classic Chanel tote. I always thought Chanel and Dior were two incredibly similar brands. Quintessential Parisienne sophistication. Both originating in Paris, these French brands are competing with more modern designers in the fashion industry such as Jacquemus and Amina Muaddi. Brands are having to go that extra mile to stay in business, especially during this unprecedented situation.
The release of Le Mythe Dior has almost given Dior a boost. Rediscovering its roots in the French Atelier, it takes you back to the history of the couture brand. The elegance and femininity back in the 1940s have been recaptured in the film by Garrone. Dior pieces were revolutionary, coming at a time when the idea of the “new woman” came about. A new sense of freedom consisting of shorter skirts and tighter waistlines – iconic for the time. The brand continues to flourish even now, dominating the fashion empire, dressing Hollywood actors and actresses as well as members of the Royal family.
Bringing us back to the present day, there have been a few articles, particularly in Love Magazine, in regards to the lack of diversity in the film. With the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement really taking speed around the world, especially with all the protests that went on across the UK at the start of summer this year, I couldn’t agree more. You would expect a greater level of diversity portrayed but it missed the mark. I suppose the film reflects a world that is not real, it is a fantasy land. But, in my opinion, it would have been more appropriate to have a wider range of models.
However, as of July 2020, magazine Harper’s Bazaar wrote about Dior’s response to the criticism by notifying readers about Kim Jones’ collaboration with Ghanian artist Amoako Boafo, for Dior’s first all-Black fashion show for spring/summer 2021. I’m very excited to see this, I think it marks a great change for the luxury fashion industry and I really hope other brands follow suit for the future! It is up to fashion brands to adapt to meet today’s times, it is crucial.
One of my favourite writers, Parisienne Caroline de Maigret once said: “Style comes from what nourishes us everyday.” I believe that due to the pandemic we have all had one big setback in our lives, whether that be school or work, or even the luxury of travel and shopping. However, the release of Le Mythe Dior has inspired me. Giving me that sense of peace and relaxation, taking me away from the stresses of a COVID-19 world. It has allowed me to start a fashion blog, to change up my style once again…but most importantly it has allowed me to see that beautiful things, like couture Dior dresses, come from hard work and dedication. If you want to feel inspired and take a break, I highly recommend taking a few minutes of your time to watch Garrone’s highly creative film!