Maria Grazia Chiuri's inaugural collection for Dior had a very clear message: This is a feminist brand. There was even a T-shirt with the title of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book, We Should All Be Feminists, shown on the runway. (Adichie also happened to be sitting in the front row.) Whether or not you're fully convinced of the authenticity of the house's feminist messaging, Chiuri is the first woman to hold the creative reigns at the brand in its 70-year history, after all. It's not a responsibility the designer took lightly. Today, Dior unveiled its first campaign under Chiuri's creative direction, complete with stripped-down, female-centric imagery.
This ad spread is part of Dior's "The Woman Behind the Lens" project, which will be a series of images photographed exclusively by women for the brand. (It's a continuation of the brand's #TheWomenBehindMyDress campaign, which launched on social media prior to Chiuri's September fashion show and invited followers to discover the women who both inspired and created the spring '17 collection.) It stars twin models Ruth and May Bell, whom you might recognize from Burberry's campaign last spring, shot by Brigitte Lacombe. (Ruth also opened the Dior show this season.) The two are shown in black and white as well as color against a stark white backdrop, which makes for striking portraits that highlight both the campaign stars and the clothes.
While Chiuri's tarot card-inspired gowns have been the crowd (and by crowd, we mean celebrity) favorite for red carpets, the official campaign focuses on some of the more tailored, everyday pieces. You know, the staples every Dior woman presumably has in her closet: the impeccable black blazer, the delicate lace blouse, the "J'adore Dior"-stamped handbag. Then, there's the low-key red tulle gown, thrown in for good measure (and because it photographs beautifully.) These pieces are meant to capture the multi-faceted modern woman, who is bold, fearless, sophisticated, powerful, sensitive — and who, yes, can be all these things at once, and any arguments to the contrary would be passé. The girl-power messaging of this campaign may not be as overt as in Chiuri's first collection for the brand, but it definitely implies that there's more to come in this same vein for Dior.