For some time, Dior's Maria Grazia Chiuri seemed to prefer the kinds of silhouettes you'd expect to see on Greek goddesses: flowing, diaphanous fabrics delicately pleated and knotted into dresses, oversized tunics paired with flat sandals, leather corsets mixed with crocheted skirts. That made her Spring 2022 ready-to-wear collection — a nod to the swinging '60s — all the more refreshing. Chiuri does structure well, and it was fun to see her experiment with looks that felt more youthful. Now, with her latest outing, we're getting the sense that that collection may not have been a one-off, but rather marked a new era in Chiuri's designs.
That same simplified, structured ethos from Spring 2022 ready-to-wear carries over into her Haute Couture collection for the season, which debuted on Monday in Paris and pays tribute to the atélier ("where head and hands work in concert," according to a press release from the brand). Though Chiuri dives headfirst into embroidery as a motif, very few of the pieces feel overly embellished or overwrought, thanks to their streamlined silhouettes. There are elegantly sculptured coats, blazers cut just broadly enough in the hips to tip a hat towards the infamous Bar Jacket and floor-sweeping maxi skirts in columns of snowy white. The best eveningwear, too, is stripped back with either halter necklines or low-sweeping busts.
That restraint is slightly deceptive, as there are plenty of flashy pieces on the Spring 2022 Haute Couture lineup: tights sprinkled with crystal drops and layered under chiffon gowns, equally-sparkling Mary Jane flats, feathers frothed across a shirt-and-skirt combo. What makes it all feel cohesive is the limited color palette; Chiuri works exclusively in blacks, whites and grays for this collection, and her work is all the stronger for it.
Still, the standout pieces are unquestionably some of the quietest. Fairy tale fantasies are fun, but sometimes, you just want the kind of clothes that'll stay in your closet for decades to come. Chiuri's basics here — albeit haute couture ones that carry eye-watering price tags — fit that bill. See the complete Christian Dior Spring 2022 Haute Couture collection in the gallery below: