Stars hit Dior's en­cy­clo­pe­dic 70th birth­day show in Paris

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Chris­tian Dior feted its 70th birth­day at Paris' Cou­ture Week Mon­day in style with an ac­com­plished, star-filled show that mapped the iconic house's jour­ney across the world. It was an un­abashed, en­cy­clo­pe­dic cel­e­bra­tion of fem­i­nin­ity in all its guises for Maria Grazia Chi­uri - the house's first fe­male de­signer. Here are some high­lights of Mon­day's fall­win­ter 2017 col­lec­tions.

Dior front row

Dior breathed a sigh of re­lief that it didn't rain on Chi­uri's first out­door pre­sen­ta­tion - and her best show to date. But the un­ex­pected rays of sun caused their own set of prob­lems for the myr­iad VIP guests that in­cluded singer Celine Dion and ac­tresses Jen­nifer Lawrence, Natalie Port­man and Kirsten Dunst. They swel­tered along­side the for­est-like show decor of ver­dant grass, ex­otic trees, huge wooden ele­phants, croc­o­diles and ea­gles at the In­valides venue.

"I'm go­ing to stand in the shade as it's just too hot," model Kar­lie Kloss ex­plained as she raced away mo­men­tar­ily for the refuge of a tree from her front row seat. Mean­while, ac­tor Robert Pat­tin­son - a Dior brand am­bas­sador - min­gled with guests in the cool of the shade cast sur­re­ally by a gar­gan­tuan at­las, hoisted up above the show fo­liage.

Dior's fe­male em­pow­er­ment

The start­ing point of Chi­uri's em­pow­er­ing, fem­i­nist dis­play was a 1953 At­las etch­ing of five con­ti­nents dis­cov­ered in the Dior archives, which mapped the house's global ex­pan­sion. Chi­uri took Mon­sieur Dior's own words - that a col­lec­tion should rep­re­sent "all types of women in all coun­tries" - and gave them re­newed le­git­i­macy - as the house's first fe­male head.

The an­kle-length sil­hou­ettes, which riffed on the 1950s, cel­e­brated pow­er­ful fe­male trail­blaz­ers of his­tory - and the bold styles worn by women thou­sands of miles apart. A loose, pleated gray wool menswear avi­a­tor out­fit was called "Amelia Earhart," in cel­e­bra­tion of the Amer­i­can avi­a­tion pi­o­neer who suc­ceeded in a man's world. An an­thracite jump­suit with a chic, Asian-style cross­over and large turned-up sleeves was named "Siam" in cel­e­bra­tion of Thai women's style. And a del­i­cate, sexy tulle dress with peek-a-boo sheer sec­tions - called "An­dalu­sia" - evoked iconic black Span­ish lace. But this wasn't just an en­cy­clo­pe­dic check list - and the 66 var­ied looks packed some true style. Gen­tly cinch-waisted sil­hou­ettes bil­lowed out into beau­ti­ful cu­lottes, along­side vo­lu­mi­nous full skirts in or­ganza, or vin­tage pleated evening dresses. This cou­ture sea­son, Chi­uri re­ally found her voice.

Ralph & Russo's plumage

In a white shoul­der­less hal­ter­neck, actress Zen­daya joined "Fast and Fu­ri­ous" star Michelle Ro­driguez in a silken teal coat dress to add star power to the Ralph & Russo front row. It was per­haps a wel­come boost to a col­lec­tion that was hard to pin down. Ta­mara Ralph's de­signs are a red car­pet fa­vorite - and no doubt some looks, like an asym­met­ri­cal pas­tel plum satin gown that un­furled around the bust, will be a big hit. But the col­lec­tion - which moved be­tween vary­ing pas­tel shades seemed to lack fo­cus at times.

Big Ot­toman-style cone hats, strapped un­der the chin, de­fined many of the shim­mer­ing gowns doused with lash­ings of em­broi­deries and se­quins. Then, there were the feath­ers. Plumes shot out from large shoul­der sec­tions, down a cinched 60s skirt, across the arm like a bird's wing, and then down the chest on one black-and-sil­ver, traf­fic­stop­ping gown that evoked a pea­cock with its tail feath­ers down. There were plenty of great dra­matic mo­ments in­clud­ing an off-white feather hat that might have been the pick of the late El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor. — AP

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