What’s a presentation if you can’t see it?
At Haute Couture Fashion Week, back-row attendees of Dior’s Monday catwalk grumbled that they could not clearly view the collection due to the so-called elitist seating arrangements.
According to the Associated Press, the leveled seats — unlike the tiered benches at the label’s menswear presentation — resulted in partially obstructed views for the unlucky few in the last row, some of whom were only able to glimpse just parts of the ensembles.
“I might have just to review the collection’s top half,” quipped one guest at Paris’ Musee Rodin.
The French fashion house — which, for the first time in its history, is led by two women — debuted 59 remarkably elegant ensembles emblematic of the overwhelmingly popular “quiet luxury” trend.
There were no gimmicky bells and whistles or avant-garde silhouettes, rather, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri leaned into traditional practicality with a modern twist.
The procession, a nod to Dior’s esteemed craftsmanship, began with a lesson in neutrals, a swath of khaki pieces — reimagined trenches, camel-colored trousers and matching frocks served as the centerpiece — followed by a merlot-hued gown with a peekaboo feather underskirt, a gray wool suit and bead-encrusted bodices and skirts.
“Corresponding to the lives of the women of today, many looks are created as separates that can be mixed and matched, greatly broadening the possibilities of each piece,” Dior wrote online.
Chiuri’s delightfully mundane (read: wearable) collection, save for the few bejeweled evening gowns, also revisited the brand’s most iconic silhouettes, like the 1952 La Cigale dress or the 1951 Mexique frock, fit for the modern woman. The designs instead played with silhouette and texture: asymmetrical necklines, capes and bold, rounded shoulders, as well as peplum, feathers and mesh.
Artist Isabella Ducrot’s installation “Big Aura” served as the backdrop for the runway, contrasting the humanistic, pragmatic clothing with looming sketches of clothing measuring more than 16 feet high, paying homage to the dress of sultans in the Ottoman Empire.
“It seemed to me that this excessive size, this disproportionate spatial exuberance was there to magnify and reflect the immense power of the sultans,” Ducrot wrote in the show notes, per Forbes.
“All of this had been achieved without recourse to precious fabrics: no brocade, no pearls, no precious stones, just disproportionate dimensions.”
The collection contrasted Schiaparelli’s futuristic catwalk that drew on technology — motherboards, microchips and cell phones — and extreme, exaggerated silhouettes extra-terrestrial in nature.
While Dior drew the likes of Rihanna, Natalie Portman and Ali Wong to the show, Schiaparelli’s Monday runway saw Zendaya, Hunter Schafer and Jennifer Lopez seated in the front row.