For this season, Kim Jones, Fendi Artistic Director of Couture and Womenswear, wanted to showcase the techniques and craft of couture. Presented in a white space bathed in bright light, the collection transforms an inner world into an external one. Négligé looks flirt with eveningwear. Reversible embroidered coats reveal shoulders. The savoir-faire of Fendi ateliers is expressed in the lightness of wafting muslin veils. Draped directly on the body, bustiers and lace reveal underwear, lending a sense of sculptural to the gowns, while luxe climbing carabiners tether pleats with virtuoso nonchalance. Gloves envelop hands like leather chainmail, and asymmetrical pearl earrings bring a theatrical allure to the gowns. Like a summer storm in the evening, a palette of cloud grey, bright white, powdery pink and metallic silver elevate delicately subtle couture.
Maria Grazia Chiuri chose the charismatic figure of Joséphine Baker to guide her latest haute couture défilé. The multitalented African-American singer and dancer inspired the Dior artistic director in her explorations around the concept of the couture garment as ‘body-garment’, ‘body-home’ and a ‘body-manifesto’. From dressing rooms to stage, the silhouettes propose variations of cinematic black and Dior grey tonalities, set off by the spotlight whites and cabaret gold shades. Satin robes created a déshabillé-habillé look. A choreography of silk and velvet glide over the body as delicate embroidery and tiny sequins reflect the runway lights and fluid fringes accompany the rhythm of the body. Eveningwear silhouettes in crumpled velvet and pleated skirts prolong the movement. Bar jackets, suits and coats dear to Monsieur Dior are paired with platform sandals for this haute couture performance. The show’s staging by African-American artist Mickalene Thomas celebrates Black and mixed-race women who, like Joséphine Baker, broke barriers and went against the grain.