Dior’s Turn Toward Feminism and the Escaramuza
Since taking the helm at the house of Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has taken the brand from pliant princess to protest powerhouse. The clothes are still fabulous, but there is a decidedly feminist quality to them all, from the sparring debut Spring 17 collection to the 70’s meets Rosie the Riveter Fall 17 collection to the great female artist collection for Spring 18, and finally the 1968 student protester collection for Fall 18. Chiuri is a woman’s woman. Dior’s Cruise 19 collection continues on this path, as she looks to a deep tradition in Mexican culture: the female escaramuza riders.
Petticoats and Hot Pants
The looks started out with riding pants and tailored jackets nipped at the waist just enough to give a reminiscent whisper of the Dior’s New Look in 1947. Bare tulle petticoats gave way to flared skirts in cotton Toile de Jouy and polka dot prints with delicate lace tops adorned with densely ruffled sleeves. I feel like at any point, these ladies could walk from the runway to the set of Westworld to heighten the HBO style game.
And did you notice those nude skinny pants with a Toile de Jouy print that actually just looks like a leg tattoo? And the hot pants! I had to do a double take.
From Folklore to Full Score
The escaramuza are known for their full riding skirts, and Dior delivered these in droves, with variations of lace and embroidery, executed in ruffles and pleats. Unlike the wildly folkloric colors of the originals, Chiuri takes the color scheme to a sophisticated, muted height, sticking to neutral, black, white, and grey as the foundation with moments of cobalt and raspberry.
Dreamy Caged Bustiers: A Contradiction?
Cinched bustier dresses are the wow moments of this collection…if not a little confusingly anti-feminist, in sheer embroidered full skirt numbers that are more couture than RTW. The finale dresses ramped up to open cage bustiers with ruffled skirts, and full skirts colorfully embroidered with a jungle scene of wild animals.
Powerful, playful, yet still so damn pretty. Chiuri is incredibly talented.