Today, Dior unveiled its first campaign under the creative direction of Maria Grazia Chiuri, who joined the French fashion house in July as the first woman to hold the creative reins in its 70-year history – and boy, do we love it. Chiuri’s first collection for Dior, showcased in September, was centred on female strength and empowerment. The feminist show was preluded on social media by a campaign entitled #TheWomenBehindMyDress which invited us to discover the women who inspired the SS17 collection via Twitter and Instagram. It was immediately evident then that Chiuri had a strong message and, judging by the powerful images from her first campaign, it's clear that her feminist theme wasn't a gimmick but a mission statement. The SS17 campaign images are part of a bigger project entitled "The Woman Behind the Lens", which will be a series of photographs taken exclusively by women for Dior. Shot by French female photographer Brigitte Lacombe and starring striking twin sisters, Brit models Ruth and May Bell, (who starred in the SS16 Burberry campaign together), the just-released campaign images capture the duo in both black and white and colour against a stark white backdrop. "For the campaign [Chiuri] had decided on the models Ruth and May, twin sisters, with a particular feminine quality: delicate and solid, and of course with a strong bond as sisters," Lacombe explains in a statement. "It made it very easy for me to relate to and to portray them."
Ruth Bell, of former buzz cut fame, opened the Dior show back in September, sporting a grown-out crop, in a look that was a distinct change from the overt femininity we've grown accustomed to at Dior. For the opening look, Ruth wore a fencing-inspired quilted white jacket, adorned with a bright red heart, with white breeches and white trainers embossed with the historic Dior bee logo and the letters CD, creating a powerful image of strength and modern womanhood with a nod to athleisure and streetwear influences. In the campaign, Ruth returns to Dior, joined by her sister – in the series of images they are seen wearing tulle dresses, tailoring, leather jackets and the fencing-inspired pieces. Chiuri has again captured the multi-faceted essence of the modern woman: bold, fearless, sensitive, sophisticated and powerful.