Beauty and Fashion

Christian Dior Pre-Fall 2024

Christian Dior Pre-Fall 2024

Maria Grazia Chiuri’s mood board for pre-fall is pinned with images of Marlene Dietrich in her signature tailored suits. The actress was a client of Christian Dior’s, and that connection appealed to Chiuri. She’s made a practice of studying not just the house founder’s archives, but also the women he dressed in her quest to build a better understanding of the lived, or embodied, history of the brand.

“I think her look was very modern, very contemporary,” Chiuri said, explaining her attraction to Dietrich. “She had this idea to really consciously play with fashion, very early she understood that.” The star’s gender bending costumes in films like Morocco gave Chiuri a reason to add neckties to crisp cotton poplin shirts and style some of the looks with fedoras; the Bar-like jacket she wore in a famous 1950 publicity still was modernized with updated, more streamlined lapels. Elsewhere, an off-the-shoulder hourglass dress was reminiscent of a similar style Dietrich wore to the Oscars in 1951, and a 3/4-sleeved long dress with a black-and-white diamond motif was modeled on a gown she was photographed in decades earlier by the couturier Lucien LeLong, for whom Dior apprenticed.

Alongside photos of the silver screen legend, there’s a front page clipping of the fashion trade publication Women’s Wear Daily on the mood board. Not long after Dior established his maison in France, he set up a parallel business in the States. Dior New York made different clothes than his Paris ateliers, more Americanized and casual. As befitted lifestyles here, Dior’s American contemporaries—women designers, as it happens, including Elizabeth Dawes and Claire McCardell—were inventing a category that came to be called sportswear which rejected the formality and form-fitting structure the French were famous for.

This reference provided the collection’s other pole, informing the generously cut chinos and popover tops, the Dior monogram leisure suits, and the dark rinse denim jeans whose upturned cuffs revealed the house logo. Paris and New York landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty were applied as decorative motifs, joining the map print, discovered in the Dior archives and revived by Chiuri into a now recognizable brand code. The most significant nod to Dior’s New York output is hard to decipher in photos, but on a Zoom call Chiuri made a point of calling out the comfort factor and versatility of using jersey for hourglass dresses and knits for voluminous ’50s-style skirts. “I think that gives an idea of freedom,” she said.

Written by
Jackson Fashionista

Greetings, fashionistas! I'm Jackson, setting trends and redefining beauty in the world of fashion. Join me in exploring the latest styles, beauty tips, and the art of expressing individuality through fashion. Let's make every day a stylish adventure!

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