Unveiling her Dior Fall 21 collection at Shanghai's Long Museum earlier this week, Maria Grazia Chiuri laid her inspiration mood board out bare for everyone to see. The collection, worthy of being described as a 'pop extravaganza', represented a different kind of energy to Chiuri's usually modern vision for the house. Described by Dior as 'A celebration of the house's creativity and the power of world cultures', the party-like collection featured disco balls so bright they'd make you forget clubs have been shut for the past year, giant sequins embroidered on dresses that illuminated the catwalk in their acid hues and space-age metallics that either transported the audience to Pierre Cardin's 60s space-age world or the year 2121. Either way, the event presented an alternative world far away from the one we've all been living in over the past year. CNN concluded, 'in a world of virtual runways, it was business as usual at Shanghai fashion week' with a perfect hybrid of physical and online events. The thought of an in-person runway happening in the West may seem far off for now, but it's nice to know houses like Dior can still orchestrate a performative display of happiness and style at other fashion weeks around the world.
Looking to the longtime Dior muse Mitzah Bricardi and designer Elio Fiorucci, Chiuri reflected on the many facets of 'pop' culture, adapting them to signature Dior pieces for a contemporary take. Leopard print was among many prints fused into the collection and even appeared on Dior's iconic Bar Jacket, a house classic that dates back to 1947 and the 'Dior New Look.'
With the aim to uplift the audience and nothing but, Chiuri told WWD that 'The idea was really to enjoy fashion, to give us a really positive moment. The fashion system that we grew up in is super different for everybody right now. We've lost this idea of a community, to meet people, to share ideas.' She continued, 'During fashion week, what's important is not only the show but what there is around it: the people that arrive in town, the exhibitions that you can see.' Since 1994, Dior has had a significant presence in China and now has around 20 stores there, a number we're sure will only grow in time.