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Dior’s Grecian goddesses kick off Paris fashion extravaganza

Christian Dior took the fashion world back to ancient Greece on Monday (January 20) with vapourous peplum-style gowns and shimmering golden numbers at its Haute Couture show, part of a twice-yearly showcase of one-of-a-kind outfits by top designers in Paris.

Some models showed off glittering fringed looks fit for the movie awards season while others wafted down the runway in more delicate, translucent styles with flowing capes, as Hollywood stars Uma Thurman and Sigourney Weaver looked on.

Haute Couture Week, which runs until Jan. 23, is a display of hand-crafted creations by a small club of fashion labels – designs usually bought by a single client and tailored just for them.

“Couture is a hidden luxury,” Dior’s womenswear designer Maria Grazia Chiuri told Reuters before the show, as she examined the collection at the fashion house’s atelier.

Many of the Dior looks came in muted tones, with shades of turquoise and plum, toga-style dresses with braided belts or collars. 

Within the grounds of Paris’ Rodin museum, guests sat inside a giant sculpture of a “mother goddess” by American artist Judy Chicago. She also created banners alongside the runway bearing messages such as “What if women ruled the world?”

Chiuri, who previously worked for Valentino, has sought to put a feminist stamp on her designs since arriving at the LVMH -owned brand in 2016, and has collaborated with different artists and writers for every show.

Dior is one of the bigger labels on display during Haute Couture Week, and is backed by the vast resources of its parent group. Some smaller ones hit hurdles as they prepared for their shows – strikes crippled French transport throughout December and affected industry suppliers and deliveries.

“I think Maria Grazia does this quite often – that femininity is not weakness. I really love that. So you have the power suit, and right after that you have this Grecian, floaty, romantic thing,” said Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a regular in Dior shows.

(Production: Michaela Cabrera, Noemie Olive)

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