“Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”
This is the slogan emblazoned on the otherwise classic marinière shirt in Christian Dior’s new ready-to-wear line. Modeled on the Paris Fashion Week runway by Sasha Pivovarova, this is the first item audience members are confronted with in Dior’s new line-up. Is it meant to be cheeky? Pre-packaged faux-intellectualism with a built-in hashtag? Perhaps that is part of the appeal. But Dior Artistic Director Maria Grazia Chiuri is at least trying to dig deeper when it comes to fashion feminism. All you need to do to see proof is look down.
The real stars of the Dior show are the shoes, fishnet boots and low-heeled Mary Janes. They are wild but practical, a far cry from your mother’s six-inch stilettos. These shoes are truly made for walking, provided you’ve got somewhere ostentatiously hip to walk to. Chiuri is making fashion for everyday women (well, very very wealthy everyday women), not models trained, geisha-like, to conform their bodies to clothes that make little sense in the real world. And this is the real egalitarian couture we’ve been waiting for. As long as Chiuri stops trying to revive the worst of the 70s, we may see great things from her yet.