The five best things about debut Dior couture collection by Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri in Paris

A day and a night of fantasy at Christian Dior’s haute couture show in Paris

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 January, 2017, 6:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 January, 2017, 6:25pm

1) “A labyrinth, irregular, almost impenetrable, like a secret garden” was the core inspiration for Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first haute couture collection for the Christian Dior brand.

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Romantic, mysterious and surrealist, the collection of ethereal red carpet gowns evoked Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

2) Chiuri continued to be inspired by symbols of divination, the celestial and magic. Couture represents the best, most imaginative clothing that a fashion industry can dream up and produce – this show did not disappoint. Embroidered stars, or hand-painted tarot symbols gave the collection a dreamlike appeal, ultimately romantic, feminine and importantly, full of fantasy.

3) The Musee Rodin, housing that famous The Kiss sculpture, was transformed into a Dior garden maze for the show. Lush green plants, moss, flowers and trellises blanketed walls, floors and seats, bringing nature indoors. Show notes reminded us that Christian Dior once said, “after women, flowers are the most divine of creations”. The organic elegance of flowers and nature was used on dresses, where light layers of tulle would trap 3D floral embellishments.

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4) After a strict black-and-white opening of tuxedo shapes and classic Dior bar jacket silhouettes, the line evolved into a delicious cacophony of powdery colours, in full skirts with layers of tulle, ruffles, organza, silks and ostrich features. This was a truly fairy-tale collection that has the Oscars’ red carpet in its sights.

5) It was all about masks and mystery. Models wore gauzy masks and dreamy feathered or floral Stephen Jones headdresses on the runway to sublime effect. In the evening, there was a Dior Masquerade Ball, where designers, celebrities and VIP guests donned masks and their best finery for the most sought-after party of the season, complete with projections onto building facades and live horses “dressed“as unicorns.