Surveyors of Maria Grazia Chiuri's latest collection for Dior were probably split yesterday when the creative director sent its fall 2018 haute couture offering down the runway. For those who rely on the 'haute' in haute couture as a source of fantasy, a repose from the cycle of ready-to-wear, or a welcomed interpretation as fashion as art, it was bleak at best. But for those who are well-versed in the true nature of the craft — its very definition of clothes that are made to fit a client — then Chiuri's most recent lineup, set in a room of walls lined with toiles (3-D blueprints of what couture is made out of), was a quiet success.
Its palette of neutrals — nudes, dusty pastels, and some navy — may not stand out amidst the rest of the week's lineup of intense embroidery and hues, but it is, however, innately French, which is (ultimately) a key selling point for the storied fashion house. (Because this stuff is for sale, after all.) And in terms of variety — suits versus dresses, sleeves versus no-sleeves, flats versus heels — there was some, but not enough to keep younger generations, who may not be on the market for a multi-thousand dollar gown but still like to window shop, interested. Chiuri's subdued take might not be reflective of the current state of fashion, but it seems the Dior woman, who's taken on the roles of equestrian, feminist, ballerina, and fencer in recent seasons, needs a break.
In that sense, Dior's fall 2018 haute couture show felt like the eye of the storm that is haute couture week, which made for the perfect moment to take a breath backstage at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. In the slideshow ahead, we went behind the scenes to capture the show's most intimate moments. Because while couture may not be the most affordable range of made-to-measure, it sure is pretty to look at.