Season after season, Maria Grazia Chiuri finds a way to incorporate feminism into her design inspiration at Dior. This season, that comes courtesy of "The Next Era," a gallery of paintings from visual artist Mariella Bettineschi featuring female portraits ranging from the 16th to the 19th century: "Their eyes, cut and duplicated, question the judgment that has conditioned – and still conditions – women." It served as both a backdrop for the runway and a slogan across tees and gloves.
One way in which Chiuri hasn't addressed feminism in her collections, however, is in showcasing them on a broader range of bodies.
Over the years — she joined the house in 2016 — the designer has ignored the sea change of body diversity happening around her in the broader fashion industry (which, to be fair, hasn't caught on as much in Paris), and it has accumulated to make her feminist overtures feel hollow. Arguably one of the strongest, most feminist statements Chiuri could make on her runways would be to tap models in different sizes, of different ages, of different gender identities. Alas, she has yet to do so. At this point, it's difficult not to read it as an intentional refusal to embrace diversity meaningfully.
That aside, Chiuri brought in Italian start-up D-Air lab to incorporate fashion tech into her Fall 2022 designs for Dior. The Bar jacket gets an upgrade with technical inserts, and the accessories get a sporty twist, from low-heeled pumps to opera-length gloves. They create almost an armor-like feel, which comes further into play via high-waisted pants and skirts, and corset belts nipping in the waist. They aren't the best pieces in the collection, but they certainly make a statement. Stronger are the looks towards the end of the show, which flex Chiuri's strong skill set: elegant suiting and pleated eveningwear.
See the complete Christian Dior Fall 2022 collection in the gallery below.