Black and white, “the colours of the subconscious”, emphasised the collection’s phantasmagorical theme, whereas Stephen Jones’ provocative masks drove home the cryptic Surrealist message.

One thing is evident from Dior’s shows since Maria Grazia Chiuri took over creative direction: where she goes, feminism follows. If it was statement tees that made the point in her Spring/Summer 2018 collection, it’s Surrealism that evokes the women’s movement at the Spring Couture 2018 show.

A quote from avant-garde Surrealist artist Leonor Fini, “Only the inevitable theatricality of my life interests me” echoes the tone at the Musee Rodin in Paris, which in turn, complements the mood with hanging sculptures of exaggerated body parts and bird cages alongside a checkerboard runway set.

Fini herself used clothing to carve her own image, often wearing Dior after befriending the designer at her first exhibition in the ‘30s. Her style was both strict and elegant, decidedly instrumental given by her striking poses inspired by men from the Renaissance.

Calling Fini “the incarnation of the then-revolutionary idea” of female libertine and personal reinvention, Chiuri presents a collection that reflects the psychedelic charisma of her source of inspiration.

Traditional menswear fabrics meet modern curves and layers, while architectural gowns greet whimsical ornaments (think beads, peacock feathers, and floral embroideries) – imitating the interaction of art and life. Fini’s surrealist ideas lived through the illusory designs, such as the black mesh dresses emulating bird cages and etched patterns creating the deception of pleats.

Black and white, “the colours of the subconscious”, emphasised the collection’s phantasmagorical theme, whereas Stephen Jones’ provocative masks drove home the cryptic Surrealist message.

See the collection below (swipe left for more).

 

Images: Courtesy of Christian Dior