There's never really a quiet time when you live by a fashion calendar, January is men, February is women, March is Couture, then we have awards and red carpets and then the cruises, those collections that were born to serve customers that used to hop on around the world cruises and needed those mid season novelties.
Cruise collections are the best sold in the market these days, they are vivid and colorful, bold and big houses like Chanel, Dior and LV bring the fashion caravans of editors and stylists and magazine honchos in the most exclusive locations.
Maria Grazia Chiuri has been at the helm of Christian Dior for a little less than 2 years, sent down the runway already 6 to 8 collections, not quite sure, the point here is that I was disappointed. Her first Dior collection was the equestrian, all white, what a contrast when at the same time we were under the Alessandro Michele's Gucci spell of all the colors all the shapes everything goes, add sparkles and Jared Leto..
After that it was a blur to me, all the same sameness, monochromatic tulle everything, logoed strings, the saddle bag revamped (John Galliano anyone?), kitten heels with bows and when the graphic T-shirt came out I shut down. It was the vulgarization of the codes of la Maison. When it comes to the fashion houses that have made the history of Fashion, whose head of the house had muses that inspired generations, they are venerable and almost untouchable to me. Leave LouLou de la Falaise to YSL, Valentino for the Radziwill sisters in Capri and there's no Hubert de Givenchy without Audrey.
Strange feeling for a liberal feminist as I am when the "we should all be feminist" graphic shirt didn't speak to me, while I had devoured and highlighted the entire book that Cecilia had bought at the local indie bookstore. She is a 50-something Italian woman leading a French house, what's wrong?
Not interested. I thought it was a commercial choice, she had to resurrect the numbers, sell sell sell, she wanted to appeal to the Millennials, but why? these Millennials are making tabula rasa, too affordable, too available, here and now, too knock-off-able, why? The inspiration were all good, feminist, powerful, relevant, but somehow the final result wouldn't deliver. You know how I am obsessed with reading the show notes or trying to grasp words from the press presentation in the backstage before the show, a collection for me is not complete if I don't know what's in the mind of the designer.
Still, not interested.
Could it be that during fashion month there are other fashion shows happening almost simultaneously and I had more choice to go "next"? Whatevs, this Cruise was on Memorial Day Weekend, that is "get locked in, don't get out for the love of your life, plus there's a tropical storm coming" weekend in Miami. As my IG feed started trickling down images of women in a rodeo dressed in folk dresses, wearing cowboy boots and embroidered full skirts, and the models walking under the rain, something caught my attention. And it wasn't the fact that in Chantilly it was raining like in Miami, I still didn't feel in a castle, but all of a sudden the tulle was feminine yet the boots meant power, the Bar jacket suited with the long pleated skirt was fascinating and that raincoat in toile de Jouy.
One of the captions said Chiuri's daughter was the catalyst of her inspiration, that made her a badass woking mom, yes please, go, Maria Grazia, go! you can do this! Apparently the teenager on the eve of her internship at Dior was intimidated and “had this idea that she wouldn’t be able to dress like herself – that there was some mould she had to fit,” says Chiuri.
Alexander Fury writes on AnOther: "the notion of the Amazon woman was something of an anathema to Dior – he wanted to dress women not as wartime Amazons but as flowers, he stated – but he did dedicate styles to the elegant notion of the Amazone, the French female horseback riders" and truly it reconciles with the Saddle bag and plenty of equestrian hints in the history of Dior, from Ferre to Galliano.
Could it be that finally feminine and feminism reconciled? There was power and feminine in the Bar jacket with the plissee asymmetrical skirt, the strength of the military boots was smoothened by the tulle, leather and lace would coexist under the trench coat.
A week ago we saw a woman become the Duchess of Sussex, walk the aisle alone, wear a dress made by a woman for a woman, catapult the British Monarchy to the most modern and feminist version of itself. And now a woman putting down a show to show her daughter glass ceilings are there to be crashed.