Women’s haute couture fashion lines aren’t usually the kind of thing we stand up and take notice of, but when it comes to Dior, we’re more than happy to take a gander, This season, Maria Grazia Chiuri has unveiled a stunning collection that harks back to the traditions of yesteryear. Dedicated to the different folkloric customs, Dior describes the pieces as a means to “inspire all cultures in an open dialogue”. We’re not quite sure what that means, but what we do know is that haute couture is back and Dior is still leading the charge.
Centred around the tree of life as the starting point for the show itself, the Dior autumn-winter 2022-2023 haute couture line walked an interesting line between cultures and philosophies. Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko was responsible for the set design, marking a rare crossover of art, fashion and foreign conflict.
As Dior explained, like the tree itself, the autumn-winter 2022-2023 haute couture collection celebrates humanity, creativity and craftsmanship. Trofymenko’s set featured life-size tapestries featuring hand-embroidered flowers, each of which was painstakingly handmade by women at the Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai, which partnered with Dior for the upcoming season.
In a press release, the house states “The tree of life is a call, a warning, to make traditions and gestures shine through, allowing us to recover a balance, if only momentarily.”
Neutrals dominated the colour palette of this year’s haute couture collection but like most Dior shows, we were treated to the occasional hits of black, navy and even chartreuse. Rich embroidery acted as the star of the show, with intricately designed floral motifs appearing on everything from wool crepe to silk and cashmere. Dresses were also adorned with patchworks of braids composed of bronze and black lace and guipure, while others were adorned with a patchwork of lace and guipure braids.
While hand-loomed fabrics displayed precious yet irregular textures in garments that banish all hems. Wide silk or cotton embroidered trench coats were matched with long dresses. Silk chiffon was selected for the long, airy dresses that follow the lines of the body in a virtuoso interplay of smocks. The materials reinterpreted the New Look silhouette, the Bar jacket is distinguished by vertically smocked fabric while the skirt was structured by ribbons forming a basque.
The tree of life with its trunk, branches and roots are featured on several garments thanks to the profusion of sumptuous embroideries. While it’s not something we’ll likely see ourselves in any time soon, the 2022-23 autumn/winter haute couture collection does see a welcomed return to traditional garment-making and the design philosophies behind it.