“The circus is a magical place,” mentioned Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri in her notes to the brand’s haute couture show as part of Paris Fashion Week. “The imagination of many artists has been stimulated by the fascination for a world that is both wondrous and raw, poetic and indispensable.” The circus ring, spread out in the garden of Musée Rodin, became a true sensation where, together with the models, the guests were also able to enjoy the performance of the members of world-renownedacrobatic company Mimbre, dressed in black-and-white jerseys.
The creative chaos of the circus is the main source of inspiration for the creative director of the French fashion house for her spring/summer 2019 haute couture collection. Dresses and skirts in bright strips, seemingly made up from a clown’s costume, sparkling tights and colourful pointed-cap shoes, combined with clothes reminding us of acrobat costumes, formal trousers, borrowed from animal trainers and snow-white jabot shirts just like those of mime artists – all this and more is interpreted by Maria Grazia Chiuri in a unique way with the help of see-through, airy fabrics, embroidered by hand and adorned with shiny details. For added authenticity and drama, the models on the catwalk were wearing Pierrot-style makeup with eyes strongly defined in black, tears flowing out of themand expressively white faces. A huge role was also played by the accessories, especially the sparkling hats covering the girls’ heads.
It is a matter of fact that the fashion house of Dior is historically connected to the circus. Christian Dior himself adored visiting Cirque d’Hiver, where he was captured by the lens of famous photographer Richard Avedon. “The circus is presented as a place of inclusion in which the clown, through its androgynous and asexual dimension, becomes the expression of a possible equality and an evocation of modernity – one where beauty, origin, gender and age are no longer important, and only technique and daring matter,” shared Chiuri who derived inspiration for her collection from the works of Gérard Vicaire – the designer who has created outfits for the Moulin Rouge shows and over 50 clown costumes.
Text: Veliana Simeonova
Photos: Dior Press Archive