Dior does folklore in Paris couture, riffing on Ukraine art

Dior does folklore in Paris couture, riffing on Ukraine art

Dior does folklore in Paris couture, riffing on Ukraine art

Images of traditional embroideries and floral paintings adorned the walls of Dior’s celebrity-laden runway homage to Ukraine as Paris’ four-day Couture Week kicked off on July 3.

The set, from Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko, was the starting point for designer Maria Grazia Chiuri who returned this season to the atelier’s needle-and-thread. It made for an embroidery-rich collection riffing on Eastern European styles, which the house said was also a message of cultural dialogue and support, one that could imagine a “better tomorrow.”

Haute couture is the age-old Parisian tradition of producing exorbitantly priced, made-to-measure garments for the world’s richest women.

A pared-down vibe greeted guest celebrities including Naomi Watts, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver inside a perfumed annex of the Left Bank Rodin Museum.

Dior’s famous atelier thus forwent its sequined razzmatazz to make craftmanship center stage this fall for an organic display of gowns in earthy tones and the occasional muted shimmer.

Whatever this show lacked in energy, it made up for in detailing. Chiuri channeled the “tree of life,” the leitmotif in Trofymenko’s art, by evoking roots and branches in long, loose folksy gowns or in stiff, cropped ethnic jackets embroidered in silks and cotton threads and yarn.

In a near-poetic touch, patchworks of braids in bronze guipure on full skirts seemed to resemble shimmering morning dew on foliage.

Yet despite its precise execution, there was little new in the exhaustive 68-piece collection. At times, Chiuri seemed to fall back on the Renaissance styles that defined her tenure at Valentino from 2008-2016, such as tight round necks, long regal gowns and floaty bishop’s sleeves.

Still, there were some stand-out looks, such as a cinched-waisted black gown with white lace bib that resembled a rebellious nun that had had enough of the convent.