Inspired by the women’s liberation and the #MeToo movement, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s used her Fall 2020/2021 Dior collection to serve feminism at Paris Fashion Week. Her ready-to-wear designs were deliberate throughout the show, focusing on the importance of functionality. Chiuri says, “It questions the construction of feminine identity through which clothing plays an essential role.”
Large neon signs hung from the ceiling that read ‘consent, ‘women’s love is unpaid labor,’ and ‘patriarchy = repression.’ The central message was ‘I Say I,’ and welcomed guests at the entrance. A phrase pulled from the manifesto by “the Italian art critic-turned-feminist activist Carla Lonzi.” Dior says “this pithy phrase symbolizes a joyous declaration of singularity and a creative and collective way of approaching the many facets of feminine subjectivity.”
The set design aligned bleachers along the walls and covered the open floor with newspapers. A look “inspired by a photo of Henri Matisse, taken by Robert Capa in 1949.” Models marched down the walkway wearing silhouettes of structured suits and flowing skirts. Fresh pattern combinations and a bold statement made for a modern runway show compared to last year’s Teddy Girls Fall collection.
This runway stood out with details of fishnet stockings, over-the-shoulder messenger bags, and skinny ties. The orange, blue and green color palettes made it easy to combine styles. Chiuri innovated the 70’s era aesthetic into a modern runway message that will permeate the already nostalgic fast fashion consumers.
Chiuri is no stranger to feminist campaigns. Her debut line included a white t-shirt that read “We Should All Be Feminists,” the title of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book and Ted Talk. The shirt was worn by celebrities like Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence, A$AP Rocky and more. Dior’s mission to empower the women in their clothes is blossoming into a new era of designer fashion.