Dior Pays Tribute To Ukraine At Paris Couture Week

The show highlighted work by Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko.

Dior couture show 2022

by Hattie Brett |

What does couture mean today? That’s a question often asked during the biannual shows in Paris that showcase the most rarefied work of France’s historic luxury houses. But perhaps Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri is the designer who likes to grapple with it most.

The show highlighted work by Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko

Aware her latest couture show was set to take place with war still raging just a short distance from Paris, Chiuri decided to use the occasion to shine a light on Ukraine. The starting point was a collaboration with Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko, whose interpretations of the Tree of Life hung on the walls of the Rodin Museum as the backdrop to the show.

The circle of life was the central theme

In many ways, it makes sense. After all, Christian Dior started the storied house in 1947, just months after the end of the second world war when Paris was still under restrictions. His famous ‘New Look’ silhouette symbolised a fresh start for people craving just that.

For Chiuri, Kyiv-based artist Trofymenko’s emphasis on the famous Tree of Life echoed that same sentiment: ‘The idea is of the circle of life, that we are changing all the time,’ she said backstage, of a show she wanted ‘to reimagine a better tomorrow.’

Folk symbolism shone through in the collection

The collection was imbued with the same message; dresses, shrunken jackets and oversized patchwork coats came heavily embroidered with motifs inspired by the Tree of Life artwork.

Chiuri had taken symbols from traditional folklore across Europe – drawn to them, she said, because of their universal use across cultures. How the collection was put together also spoke to Dior's community of craftspeople, all dedicated to their passion. Just as the famous Dior petit mains had worked on the embroidery, so too had Indian artisans from the Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai – a place Chiuri has had a longstanding connection too. It’s all part, she says, of the central tenet of couture: sharing skills across cultures.

The easiest takeaway? A new hair trick to try

If the couture collection might be out of reach for all but the clients and A-list guests in attendance, there was one clear takeaway: there’s a new twist on the ponytail. Against the heavily embellished clothes, superstar hairstylist Guido Paulo’s long plaited ponytails looked pleasingly neat and practical.

Naomi Watts

Celeste and Naomi Watts gave good heatwave dressing inspiration

The stars on the front row also gave good inspo. Naomi Watts and Celeste proved that the black summer dress can be your best friend during a heatwave. And the accessory of choice? Surprisingly enough, it was a Dior fan. Surely the chicest way to stay cool this summer…

Celeste
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