Dior Couture Spring '17, Or: The Dresses Celebs Will Bookmark For The Oscars

Photo: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage.
Less than a year at the helm of Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has already proven she's a big fan of exploring a single, cohesive narrative with her fashion shows. For her debut at the house last September, the designer focused on feminism, with a hint of fencing, while Chiuri's inaugural couture collection went a little more fantastical with its woodland theme. One thing united them all, though: Every delicately embroidered, exquisitely detailed gown is primed for award show season, which is conveniently in full-swing.

As the first female artistic director in Dior's 70-year history, Chiuri has made it a point to celebrate and champion women through her designs — be it through the "We Should All Be Feminists" fall '16 T-shirts already favored by the fashion set, or by taking followers on a behind-the-scenes tour of the atelier to introduce the female makers responsible for the gorgeous garments that end up on the runway. This intention trickles down to every single piece the designer includes in her collections. But whereas the ready-to-wear range offered a more literal study of this idea in the form of workwear, the spring '17 couture explored it of through a much more wondrous lens.

And so the Musée Rodin in Paris was transformed into an enchanting, mossy garden maze complete with a wishing tree adorned with jewels and charms. Befitting of the woodsy setting, the couture collection itself had a fairytale theme: a high-fashion heroine in head-to-toe black hooded gowns opened the show, followed by form-fitting, immaculately-cut tailored separates work with intricate animal masks and by sculptural gowns reminiscent of the Raf Simons era, except with a distinctly Chiuri color palette of red, blush, and ivory enhanced with embroidery.
Photo: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage.
Photo: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage.
We can only imagine Dior's loyal front-row regulars were scoping out the new designs for their own red-carpet commitments in the next few weeks: Kirsten Dunst, Diane Kruger, A$AP Rocky, and Olivia Palermo were all present. While Natalie Portman and Jennifer Lawrence couldn't make the show, we're sure they, too, are pouring over the Vogue Runway recap with their respective stylists, trying to secure one of those glittery, floral-encrusted tulle gowns for the Oscars.
Photo: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage.
Even before haute couture week kicked off in Europe, the state of this segment of the industry was put into question when Versace surprised everyone by canceling its show, choosing instead to focus on client-facing events. Still, Dior's presentation was a pretty great example as to way the craft is still relevant in 2017. "Haute couture will always remain at the heart of the house — it’s extremely important,” Sidney Toledano, chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture told WWD. “We saw growth in 2016, despite security issues in Paris in the first half. The second half, with the fall collection shown in July, was tremendously successful." Not to mention, it gives us something to look forward to on the red carpet, too.
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