Christian Dior: Back with the best of ‘68

Artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri has made it clear since arriving at Christian Dior in 2016 that her message for the French fashion house is a feminist one. “Dior has to be about female empowerment,” the designer told Vogue late last year, after she debuted the spring ’18 collection.
It was true once again at the designer’s fall ’18 show on Tuesday at Paris’s Musée Rodin, where the venue was covered wall-to-wall in vintage magazine clippings and quotes, from the pro-feminist “women’s rights are human rights” to the pondering “la beauté est dans la rue” (“beauty is in the street”) of the French capital’s May 1968 student uprisings.
There were also various photos of women in protest, including a famous image from 1966 of women from the British Society for the Protection of Mini Skirts protesting outside the House of Dior. “Miniskirts forever” read one woman’s sign, and behind her another read “Dior Unfair to Miniskirts.”

Retro clothing that channeled the late ’60s and early ’70s protest uniforms of second-wave feminists

Chiuri was looking back to the late ’60s, a time of civil protest and changing dress codes, also referring to what then-Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland coined the “Youthquake.” The result was decidedly retro clothing that channeled the late ’60s and early ’70s protest uniforms of second-wave feminists.
The opening look featured a sweater with the phrase “C’est non, non, non et non!” (“It’s no, no, no and no!”) on the front — a clear nod to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, with plaid miniskirts nodding to the aforementioned protest. There were also patchwork denim, suede patchwork pieces and sheer crocheted dresses, and every look was punctuated with oversized, tinted Gloria Steinem glasses.
Along with the retro looks came simple black leather boots, mostly knee-high, with a sturdy sole. Others had color-blocked leather in black, white and oxblood, but both versions were serious and practical — and the sound of them altogether at the show’s finale proved they would be a great option for marching in a protest.

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