Firstly, that was Maria Grazia Chiuri‘s best collection at Dior up-to-date. And it was far, far away from Paris. Comparing to her previous outing – an all-blue collection, which rather looked like Armani’s millionth set of blazers than a second line-up from a debuting creative director – resort 2018 was quite outstanding. With preciously intricate gowns (which will surely find a place among L.A.’ wealthiest women), an incredible tent constructed in the middle of Upper Las Virgenes Canyon in Calabasas and a strong, Georgia O’Keeffe moment (the late “Mother of American modernism” was known for wearing a black hat and matching over-sized coat), there’s a lot to mention, while discussing this collection. After the show, Maria Grazia said that she has a life-long love affair with Clarissa Pinkola Estés book called Women Who Run with the Wolves – that set the free-spirited mood behind the silhouettes. Moreover, the designer decided to use the famous Lascaux cave paintings as the main print for rich, jacquard fabrics (Monsieur Dior used them too, back in 1951). Then, we also had the tribal symbols covering silk sheaths and ball skirts, underscoring Chiuri’s love for mystical themes.
But, am I the only one, who thinks that there’s too much going on in here? It’s beautiful, no doubt. However, Maria Grazia’s vision for this season has no bigger connection with the maison, as for me. Expect, a few old-school Dior logos on the bags and a suede bar jacket with fringes (AND this looked really upsetting). It seems that the designer has no sense of consistency, as she jumps from one topic to another – and that’s clearly visible once you re-see her previous collections, spanning from enchanted forest nymphs to faux-feminists in pricey t-shirts. And the saddest thing is that Dior’s identity becomes blurrier with every season. Resort 2018 rather looks like a well-funded Ralph Lauren collection or Chanel’s memorable Paris-Texas capsule (déjà vu, anyone?).
One thing’s sure – Chiuri knows how to design a dress and make Rihanna see her show. But does she know how to lead a heritage brand with sense? I think we’re getting to the point, where the answer is ‘no’.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.