Dior summons spirit of 68 in Paris show

Dior came out with all feminist guns blazing at Paris fashion week Tuesday seeking to catch the spirit of #MeToo and the new wave of female empowerment. Designer Maria Grazia Chiuri, who began her reign at the French couture house with the now cult 550-euro ($680) T-shirt, “We Should All be Feminists”, summoned up the spirit of 1968, the year when social and sexual revolutions swept the planet.
Chiuri’s muse, British model and women’s rights advocate Ruth Bell, led the line with a black and white woollen jumper declaring, “Non, non, non et non!”
“It is not bad to say ‘No! No! No!’ sometimes,” the designer told AFP after the show, “Feminism means freedom, freedom to dress how you want, to define yourself.”
To the thumping “Ooh, I just know that something good is gonna happen” refrain to Kate Bush’s classic song “Cloudbusting”, the Italian sent out a hippy and Beatnik-inspired autumn-winter collection, declaring that “changing the world also means changing clothes”.
“Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” slogans burst from the walls of the set which was papered with 1968 Vogue magazine covers, with Chiuri picking up on a “fun” demonstration women activists staged outside Dior’s boutique in London two years earlier.
Saint Laurent’s killer vamps
Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello, on the other hand, loves the leggy look. Despite the freezing Paris temperatures his female models wore the merest of black leather mini-skirts, shorts and dresses at his outdoor show opposite the Eiffel Tower — although some at least got to wear shin-high fur-topped boots.
The men in his co-ed show were more fortunate, with several wearing coats, as the Belgian sent a procession of chilly ultra-sexy black-clad killer vamps down the runway, some in broad-brimmed fedora hats.
Vaccarello leavened his rainbow of black at the end with a line of short shoulder-padded floral pattern dresses on a black base.
Earlier young French designer Marine Serre made her Paris fashion week debut with her “FutureWear” show, mixing sportswear and vintage, and also a line of hippish scarf dresses.
Her occasional skin-hugging head-coverings also stood out, conjuring up images of divers, or with her crescent moon logo, luge-riding Muslim women at the Winter Olympics.
Like Dior, which featured a number of check suits, young French label Jour/ne mixed richly coloured velvets and tartans, giving a highly wearable twist to vaguely vintage male silhouettes. — AFP