Forty-five minutes after Dior’s fall-winter 2019 haute couture show was scheduled to start, a burst of camera flashes answered the audience’s general wonderment about the delay: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas had arrived; as photographers scrummed to capture a quick shot, the show lights went down before the couple was seated at Monday’s (July 1) show.
The stunning actress @PriyankaChopra, dressed in a #DiorCruise look, and her husband @NickJonas greet Creative Director #MariaGraziaChiuri after the Autumn-Winter 2019-2020 #DiorCouture show. ?Follow the star on Dior’s Instagram Story to see some highlights from her day! #StarsinDior
Gal Gadot, Shailene Woodley, Bianca Jagger and Maya Hawke were also in the front row at the house’s historic atelier on Paris’ Avenue Montaigne, alongside Elisabeth Moss, who noted that Dior is the only show she plans to attend during this week of haute couture presentations. “I don’t really like going to fashion shows; I’m only here because I love Dior,” Moss told The Hollywood Reporter.
The brand is indeed the Emmy winner’s favorite — the Her Smell star wore Dior at January’s Golden Globes and at South by Southwest in March — and Moss added that she happily would wear creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s designs exclusively, on red carpets and elsewhere. “It’s all very wearable, while still being an elevated version of anything I would wear,” she explained. “And Maria brings a freshness to the house, while still retaining its essential core, which is so much about the female figure and so much about femininity. When you wear something of hers, you feel at your most beautiful and your most comfortable, and that’s when someone looks their best.”
In her show notes, Grazia Chiuri included a Christian Dior quote that nicely echoed Moss’ thoughts: “A dress is a piece of ephemeral architecture, designed to highlight proportions of the female body.” That served as a partial jumping-off point for this collection, which also took its cue from a 1944 exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, directed by the Austrian-born architect Bernard Rodofsky, entitled “Are Clothes Modern?” So her latest slogan T-shirt (a brand signature) bore that phrase, inspiring thoughts of haute couture’s place in today’s society, of gender roles in fashion and, in a city that thrives on luxury, of sustainability and increasingly necessary conversations about when and how new pieces should be introduced into your wardrobe.
Grazia Chiuri was not shy with answers. This was a hefty show, 65 looks, inspired not only by that Rudofsky exhibition at MoMA, but also very much rooted in the Dior DNA, from the crisp wool day suits to the lace bustier gowns with their billowing skirts, largely in a darkly romantic palette of granite, inky black, gunmetal lamé and mesh fabrics, also in noir tones, layered to create new textures. Capes were seen in abundance, from an abbreviated version over a suit jacket to a taffeta jacquard evening cape that cascaded over a matching column dress.
The handwork of haute-couture artisans also was on display. The show kicked off with ruminations on precise tailoring before giving way to the freedom of feather work on a fluffy knee-length skirt or the leatherwork on a dress that looked like it might have leaped from the Game of Thrones finale. Among the most modern and romantic of the show’s details was the layer of sheer floral lace that covered a model’s arms and shoulders above a bustier gown, creating a tattoo effect.
Instead of the traditional bride, for the finale Grazia Chiuri sent out a model sporting a gold rendering of the 30 Avenue Montaigne façade, as though to remind attendees that all things must circle back to the house that Christian Dior built. Indeed, toward the show’s end, there was a bit of a break from all of that black, including Grecian-inspired pieces in silver lamé – meant to be a nod to the earliest form of architecture on a woman’s body. While some might question the collection’s focus on dark, somber hues, Grazia Chiuri was quick to remind fans of another famous Dior quote: “I could write a book about black,” the couturier declared in his 1954 style guide, The Little Dictionary of Fashion. On Monday afternoon, Grazia Chiuri offered her thoughtful update to that idea, while also moving the conversation forward about modernity — and its necessity — in fashion.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.