Out of the many, many fashion show livestreams I've taken in over the past year, Dior Cruise 2022 might've had the most captivating setting. Under the dark, open, Grecian sky, with temples of the Acropolis in the background, the massive Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece was set up with a long row of lit torches and a live orchestra featuring the Greek singer Eleni Poulou. Cinematically spotlit models slowly circled the track-turned-runway for a 30-minute show that felt dramatic and ceremonial, culminating in an over-the-top fireworks display.
Maria Grazia Chiuri's starting point was a series of photographs from 1951 of a couture collection by Mr. Dior himself, taken near the Pantheon. The actual clothes reflected the themes incorporated into the spectacular Olympics-inspired backdrop, with Chiuri tackling everything from athleisure to ethereal Grecian draping. We all know the Italian designer has made feminism, and the exploration of femininity, a cornerstone of her work for Dior, and so she tapped into the many female deities of Greek mythology for inspiration. The works of Giorgio De Chirico, and vases decorated with wrestling matches by Alexandre Iolas, were also on her mind.
Chirui's Grecian goddesses, dressed predominantly in white and cream, spanned all levels of formality: The show began with easy, breezy dresses and sets seemingly made from a light, athletic fabric that billowed as models walked. Necklines were open, shoulders exposed, hemlines mini-to-midi, waists sometimes nipped in with drawstrings. Other looks were more literal with the activewear theme, featuring logo-waistband shorts, blue-and-white (because Greece) sweats, logo'ed athletic socks, gym bags and even capri-length leggings.
There were skin-colored bodysuits (some beaded a la Britney Spears in her "Toxic" music video) with fabric draped prettily overtop. There were then many elevated versions of toga dresses and robes, some casual enough for a beach vacation, others more fitting for a red carpet (but still paired with sneakers); the metallic ones were especially gorgeous — Chiuri at her best. In between were many other Chiuri and Dior signatures, like bar jackets, peplums, belted coats, harness-adorned bodices and pleated ankle-length skirts. Sleek white suits rounded out the non-athleisure daywear options.
Admittedly, much of the collection felt a bit on-the-nose with the obvious Grecian Olympics theme, but there was one major surprise at the end: a floor length, less-literal version of Bjork's infamous swan dress, complete with white tulle "wings." Swans do play a significant role in Greek mythology, so perhaps that's where the homage came from.
See every look from the Dior Cruise 2022 collection in the gallery below.
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