On March 18, Dior took over Safa Park in Dubai, with a full-size circus tent strewn with lights. Within, Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director for the house, delivered her astonishingly beautiful circus-themed haute couture show from January 2019, augmented with 15 additional looks created especially for the event and this region.
The new pieces both opened and closed the show, perfectly bookending the existing collection. Chiuri revisited the iconic Bar jacket for the Middle East, in metallised eau de nil wool and a sunburst pleat cape, and cut into a playsuit in one look, and into a mini dress in another.
Fluid metallic lurex in muted peacock tones arrived in shimmering dresses, cut long and majestic (think Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra), and short and flirty, with a shredded tulle petticoat.
After the dash of colour, however, it was back to Chiuri’s preferred palette of delicate nudes. One dress was almost ethereal, in tulle, with hand-cut flowers crushed between the layers, like flowers pressed in a book.
“I really like the idea of the time that you feel on top of the flower, of the craftsmanship. And we [have] pressed it, like when you press a flower in a book, it is part of your memory. This idea of time, of Dior, of a garden. But the memory of a garden,” Chiuri tells us the day before the show.
Another dress, created for this region, was midnight blue caught with gold thread and, like every other look, came with a glittering cap, fastened under the chin. With silk net covering the models' faces, the effect was both playful and poetically beautiful, in a reference to Pierrot, the commedia dell’arte of Italian heritage, and the tragic clown of the 1800s.
The finale – the dress that drew to an end the entire visual experience – finished on a charming theatrical note. A polka-dot bodysuit, under a skirt and finished with a trailing petticoat of ruffles that stretched out 10 feet behind the model as she walked. It was – as expected – a delight.
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