Maria Grazia Chiuri Needs To Go! Christian Dior at PFW SS18

"Why have there been no great women artists?" -
Linda Nochlin

This was the quote printed on a French Breton-striped top, for the opening look of Maria Grazia Chiuri's latest collection for Christian Dior. Another relatively empty statement to an already empty statement that has been Dior since the arrival of Maria Grazia. Has the careers of great female artists like Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois, Georgia O'Keefe, Cindy Sherman, Yayoi Kusuma and many more not count for anything. The quote is the title of an essay written by American art historian Linda Nochlin in 1971. A era in which perhaps that actually meant something. It all started with the "We Should All Be Feminists" tshirt that cost an absurd amount of $700+. There's nothing "feminist" about a printed cotton tshirt of that price. Yes a portion of the proceeds went to Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation, yet it didn't quite say what percentage, if it was a generous amount then why not say? To be honest, I'm fed up of the term "feminist" just being throw-away, which is what it's become. It's got to a point in which it no longer means anything. Yes Chiuri might just be the first ever woman to be named as artistic director of the house of Christian Dior, but that doesn't automatically give you the right to call yourself a feminist or expect automatic credit for quite shockingly poor design.

In a recent interview with Elle Magazine, Maria Grazia Chiuri said the following: "Fashion on one hand is a beautiful dress but if you don't give it a message, it's just a beautiful dress," well this collection, like all of her collections at Dior didn't feature beautiful clothes nor a meaningful message. In fact, never have the fashions at Dior felt more high street than they did yesterday. As the successor of the likes of John Galliano, Raf Simons and Christian Dior himself, Maria Grazia Chiuri simply doesn't hold up to the standards as those credited. Her millennial approach to the house doesn't sit well with or interest me in the slightest, nor do the slogans and attempts of a reprisal of 70's trends from the early 2000's perspective, I'm tired of reading the words J'adior Dior plastered across waistbands and handbags. I also feel it doesn't interest the likes of some of fashion's biggest writers, yet it seems the majority of those for whatever reason are too frightened to criticise the designers at the helms of big houses today. Not only is that sad, it's also highly pathetic, that people, writers, professionals don't express their opinion as they once did.

This year celebrates 70 years of Monsieur Dior having found his namesake label. A French giant in fashion, however what I would have liked to have seen was more Christian Dior himself in this collection, not just the Marc Bohan years. He and French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle were both inspiration for Spring 2018. Marc Bohan was hired to replace Yves Saint Laurent at Dior, when he was called up for military service and fired from the house in 1960, he remained there until he left in 1989. The colours and prints of Niki de Saint Phalle's artwork was featured across mini-skirts and mini-dresses that had a Sixties feel. Her name was also featured on jumpers alongside dinosaur and spider motifs. Marc Bohan references were derived from the polka dots and men's shirts. To be quite frank, I found this collection to be an insult to Dior fans around the world. Another overrated collection by dare I say it again, the fashion writers, with some even hailing it as "ground-breaking" fashion, like I mean come on, seriously? I think I speak on behalf of the many who are afraid to say that I think Maria Grazia Chiuri's time is up at Christian Dior.

Images courtesy of Dazed Digital and Vogue Runway

The Wolf of High Street


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