Maria Grazia Chiuri pleased to see people wearing copies of her feminist T-shirts

Maria Grazia Chiuri was “happy” to see people wearing copies of her feminist T-shirts after her debut show for Dior.Back in 2016, the Italian designer was tapped as the first female creative director for the French fashion house, and when she released …

Maria Grazia Chiuri was “happy” to see people wearing copies of her feminist T-shirts after her debut show for Dior.

Back in 2016, the Italian designer was tapped as the first female creative director for the French fashion house, and when she released her spring/summer 2016 collection, quickly garnered attention for her line of white tops bearing the title of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay We Should All Be Feminists.

While the T-shirts are priced at $860 (£580), and are therefore out of many customers’ budgets, Chiuri has now shared that she is fine with seeing people sporting knock-offs as it means that a luxury brand is sending a “good message”.

“Of course, we have to acknowledge we are a luxury brand and that not all people can buy our products,” she commented in an interview by author and feminist leader Robin Morgan for U.S. Harper’s Bazaar. “But I was so happy after my first show when I did the We Should All Be Feminists T-shirt and I saw fake T-shirts all around the world!”

While most fashion designers would be displeased to see consumers wearing copies or buying knock-offs, Chiuri is particularly fine with it because it means people are investigating the inspiration behind the design and are sharing the message with others.

“If someone sees your book titles on a T-shirt and then Googles and finds the books, that’s the goal for me,” the 55-year-old smiled. “And, really, I can thank Dior for supporting me in this. Everyone seemed worried, ‘Uh-oh, you are political.’ But the company never stopped me. Everything is political anyway! Everything you buy, everything you eat. Life is political!”

Chiuri is to receive the Sisterhood Is Powerful Award for Wearable Media at the annual Women’s Media Awards event in New York City in October.

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Natalie Portman reflects on ‘ephemeral’ nature of beauty

Natalie Portman works hard on various projects because she knows beauty is “ephemeral”.The Oscar winner is considered to be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood and has been the face of French fashion house Dior since 2010. However, Natalie ha…

Natalie Portman works hard on various projects because she knows beauty is “ephemeral”.

The Oscar winner is considered to be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood and has been the face of French fashion house Dior since 2010.

However, Natalie has now shared in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar U.K. that she finds it frustrating whenever she’s judged only on her looks.

“As a woman, you are constantly fighting against only being valued for your looks, because it becomes a very tenuous thing, to be defined by the gaze of others, the opinion of others,” the 38-year-old commented. “And beauty is, by definition, ephemeral, it’s a thing that you can’t trap in time, it’s a butterfly, it lives for a second. So to make a lifetime worthwhile and have meaning cannot rest on beauty…”

In spite of her stance, Natalie did emphasise that while she’s aware of political and social unrest across the world, she takes comfort in focusing on herself from time to time, to escape the world around her. One way she does this is by dressing up in beautiful clothes.

“I love beauty and I love glamour, and they can be part of the sweetness of life in the face of really dark things – and that has great worth,” the mother-of-two shared.

Elsewhere in the interview, Natalie revealed that she is hugely impressed with the work Maria Grazia Chiuri is doing at Dior, having been tapped as the luxury label’s first female artistic director in 2016.

“It’s wonderful to have a woman designing for other women, someone who understands us, and knows that maybe we might want to wear a T-shirt with a skirt and flats, or have pockets in our dresses,” Natalie gushed, before adding that the designer’s comfortable creations are almost political. “If a woman can’t breathe in her dress, what does that mean? It’s the most literal symbol of oppression that you could possibly have – it’s so political.”

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Maria Grazia Chiuri awarded France’s prestigious Legion d’Honneur

Maria Grazia Chiuri became tearful as she received France’s most prestigious award, the Legion d’honneur, on Monday.The Italian designer, who is the first woman creative director at the house of Christian Dior, was given the highest civilian distinctio…

Maria Grazia Chiuri became tearful as she received France’s most prestigious award, the Legion d’honneur, on Monday.

The Italian designer, who is the first woman creative director at the house of Christian Dior, was given the highest civilian distinction by France’s gender equality minister Marlene Schiappa during a star-studded ceremony following Dior’s fall 2018 couture show in Paris.

“I can’t believe it!” the 55-year-old exclaimed, as she was swarmed by well-wishers – including her husband and two children, photographer Ellen Von Unwerth, former employer Valentino Garavani and Bianca Jagger – at the French fashion house’s Avenue Montaigne headquarters.

Also in attendance at the reception was author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who inspired Chiuri’s iconic “We Should All Be Feminists” slogan T-shirts.

During her speech, the visibly emotional designer urged young women to believe in themselves and follow their instincts.

“Even today I still feel like the curious girl who went to school in Rome to learn fashion design,” she said. “Receiving such an important honour in France, which represents fashion and culture, and from the hands of a woman like Marlene Schiappa, who expresses the most important values for me, is a new emotion.”

Crediting the Fendi sisters, Paola, Anna, Franca, Carla and Alda, for inspiring her to reach her goals and to support other women in fashion and business, she also thanked Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH – the luxury goods firm that owns Christian Dior – for allowing her free rein as creative director.

“Dior is a maison that represents femininity, and for this reason, I believe that my commitment is to make women aware of their potential, and I thank the maison that supports me to give a voice to women and their work. Their commitment can change the world,” Chiuri gushed.

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Pierpaolo Piccioli wants designers to use their voices for good

Pierpaolo Piccioli’s designs go deeper than just fashion as he likes his work to reflect his own ideals.The Valentino head, who has been helming the brand solo since his former partner Maria Grazia Chiuri departed for Dior in 2016, has become known for…

Pierpaolo Piccioli’s designs go deeper than just fashion as he likes his work to reflect his own ideals.

The Valentino head, who has been helming the brand solo since his former partner Maria Grazia Chiuri departed for Dior in 2016, has become known for his jaw-dropping evening gowns.

But more than merely create pretty silhouettes, Piccioli lets his emotions and views boldly shine through his clothes.

“It’s important today, if you are in fashion, if you have a voice, hopefully a loud voice, not to talk bulls**t,” he said to Vogue Australia. “To be very aware that you can use your voice for something that is not only about clothes, but the values you can deliver through your clothes.

“Fashion is about identity. You have to talk about your own values, talk about your own aesthetic. If you’re not moved by what you’re doing, then you’re doing it to please someone else. It’s not authentic and you’ll never touch emotions. All of us are looking for emotions, for dreams, for something human. You want to feel the humanity behind the clothes… you want to feel the soul.”

As well as his Valentino responsibilities, the Italian designer recently sat on the board for the inaugural Fashion Trust Arabia, an initiative aiming to raise the standards and profiles of emerging design talent in the Middle East and North Africa region.

And mentoring is something Piccioli relishes.

“They (the finalists) need people to give them good advice,” the fashion star mused. “They don’t have to follow it, but everyone deserves the opportunity to (access) it. I want to see these designers keep their identity while facing the world.”

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Dior collaborates with African artists for cruise 2020 line

Dior has teamed with several African artists on garments for its cruise 2020 collection.The French luxury label, helmed by creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, unveiled its latest line at the El Badi Palace in Marrakesh, Morocco on Monday night (29Ap…

Dior has teamed with several African artists on garments for its cruise 2020 collection.

The French luxury label, helmed by creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, unveiled its latest line at the El Badi Palace in Marrakesh, Morocco on Monday night (29Apr19), with celebrities in attendance including Karlie Kloss, Lupita Nyong’o, Jessica Alba, Shailene Woodley, and the Haim sisters.

Entitled Common Ground, the show was influenced by an excerpt from philosopher Naomi Zack’s 2005 book, Inclusive Feminism: A Third Wave Theory of Women’s Commonality, and celebrated a “common ground for women and culture across territories”.

“Maria Grazia Chiuri has always had her heart set on establishing creative exchanges with African cultures,” a Dior representative said in a statement. “With this collection, she sought to dialogue with the real and imagined landscape of Morocco, at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Europe and Africa, as a dream destination for artists, poets, writers and eternal adventurers.”

Accordingly, Chiuri consulted with French anthropologist Anne Grosfilley on African wax fabrics and the techniques that make the intricate patterns, while the Italian designer also worked with Moroccan craftswomen on the set design, which included bonfires and pools filled with floating candles.

Famed South African shirtmaker Pathe Oueedraogo, aka Pathe’O, made a shirt which paid homage to late President Nelson Mandela, and milliner Stephen Jones teamed with Daniella Osemadewa and Martine Henry on pan-African headpieces and turbans.

In addition, British-Jamaican designer Grace Wales Bonner and African-American artist Mickalene Thomas offered up their interpretations of Dior’s classic Bar Jacket and New Look skirt. Other highlights of the collection included off-the-shoulder patterned dresses and leather belts with the Dior logo on the front, while the presentation concluded with a line-up of red carpet-ready gowns, including a black number with a sweetheart neckline and fringed hemline.

The show marked the first time Dior has shown in the North African nation in spite of the fashion house’s long-held ties to Morocco, with former couturier Yves Saint Laurent, who helmed the label in the ‘50s, considering the country his second home. In 2017, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum opened in Marrakech.

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Natalie Portman’s work with Dior has inspired her to wear red lipstick

Natalie Portman’s partnership with Christian Dior has inspired her to wear red lipstick more.The Black Swan actress signed on to be a brand ambassador for the French luxury brand back in 2010 and has since fronted campaigns for fragrance and beauty pro…

Natalie Portman’s partnership with Christian Dior has inspired her to wear red lipstick more.

The Black Swan actress signed on to be a brand ambassador for the French luxury brand back in 2010 and has since fronted campaigns for fragrance and beauty products.

Natalie has built up a strong relationship with artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri, who became the first woman to lead the business when she was appointed in 2016, and explained in a new interview with Vogue Australia that she appreciates the empowering messages the Italian designer conveys.

“I almost cried when I saw (Maria) putting flats down the couture runway. I was like: ‘Yes!'” she recalled to the publication. “She’s amazing and it’s been really fun – it’s also made me wear red lipstick a lot more in my real life. I don’t normally wear make-up but whenever I’m feeling bold, like I want to go in and get things done, I put on red lipstick and I’m ready.”

Natalie went on to explain that she is impressed by the way in which Maria’s designs have triggered discussions about feminism, especially pieces like the T-shirt from her debut line which featured the slogan ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ – the title of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2014 book-length essay.

But the brunette beauty is also a fan of wearing the designer’s high-end couture pieces to red carpet events.

“It’s been amazing having Maria Grazia Chiuri there – I feel like a woman knows what another woman wants to wear! And every time I’m in those dresses I feel exactly how I want to feel,” the 37-year-old insisted.

Elsewhere in the chat, Natalie added that one of her favourite gigs with Dior has been as the face of the Miss Dior perfume, as she loved being able to meet with perfumer Francois Demachy and learn all about the development of scent.

“I’ve had amazing experiences and I’m kind of obsessed with flowers and scent, so to get to visit the rose fields in Grasse and meet with their nose, Francois Demachy, and see how it gets created is just a total fantasy dream,” she smiled.

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Saint Laurent shines bright with glow in the dark creations during PFW show

Saint Laurent showcased glow in the dark creations in what was a fun and exciting Paris Fashion Week presentation on Tuesday (26Feb19).Creative director Anthony Vaccarello went all out with the Saint Laurent fall 2019 collection, with neon shoes, dress…

Saint Laurent showcased glow in the dark creations in what was a fun and exciting Paris Fashion Week presentation on Tuesday (26Feb19).

Creative director Anthony Vaccarello went all out with the Saint Laurent fall 2019 collection, with neon shoes, dresses and sunglasses all shining bright when the runway was lit with purple ultraviolet light towards the end of the show.

Among the most eye-catching looks was an ostrich feathered minidress, which turned into black and pink stripes under the ultraviolet light, and a pair of acid orange pumps.

The glow in the dark pieces were just one aspect of the Eighties trend Vaccarello explored with his new collection. Structured shoulders are part of the new YSL silhouette, with a stunning cream coat and jewelled top among the items which sported exaggerated shoulders. Pants were noticeably absent from the collection, with Saint Laurent instead showcasing tiny skirts and shorts worn over polka dot tights as part of their take on power dressing.

Saint Laurent wasn’t the only big name to showcase at Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday. Stars including newly-engaged Jennifer Lawrence flocked to the front row of the Dior show, where Maria Grazia Chiuri paid “homage to the alchemist of elegance and beauty, Karl Lagerfeld”, according to the show notes. Chanel legend Lagerfeld died earlier this month, aged 85.

Chiuri took inspiration from the concept of sorority for Dior’s new collection, and presented her new take on 50’s femininity as she debuted pieces such as full skirts and an updated version of the traditional ballgown.

Each and every model wore a Stephen Jones-designed bucket hat, many of which included a net veil covering the eyes, with checked raincoats and black wellington boots also proving that the Dior girl is more than prepared for an autumn shower.

Feminist slogan T-shirts were also a standout piece on the runway, with models sporting tops featuring slogans such as “Sisterhood Is Global”, “Sisterhood is Powerful” and “Sisterhood is Forever”, referring to feminist texts by American poet Robin Morgan.

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Dior to stage cruise show in Marrakech

Dior is heading to Marrakech for its next cruise show.The French fashion house is heading to Morocco in a couple of months, with the show to be staged on 29 April (19), according to WWD. It marks the first time Dior has shown in the North African count…

Dior is heading to Marrakech for its next cruise show.

The French fashion house is heading to Morocco in a couple of months, with the show to be staged on 29 April (19), according to WWD. It marks the first time Dior has shown in the North African country.

While it will be Dior’s inaugural presentation, Morocco has a rich fashion history thanks to its association with late couturier Yves Saint Laurent, who considered the country his second home. In 2017, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum opened in Marrakech.

For fellow Frenchman Christian Dior, he felt most at home outside of his home country in London.

And to honour his link with the British capital, a new retrospective has opened up at the iconic Victoria and Albert Museum in the heart of the city.

Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri is in London to help launch the exhibition, titled Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, which opens to the public on Saturday (02Feb19) and runs until July.

“From the moment I came to Dior, the link with Britain was very clear to me,” she told The Guardian. “People tend to think of the Bar suit as being very feminine, and it is. But when I look at it, what I see is tailoring – really strong British tailoring. Almost severe.

“For anyone who works in fashion at a brand with a history, Britain is fascinating, because it balances modernity with tradition, which is what we try to do.”

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Maria Grazia Chiuri discusses Dior’s links to Britain

Maria Grazia Chiuri has reflected on Dior’s links with Britain ahead of a new exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams opens to the public on Saturday (02Feb19) and features a retrospective that spans from 19…

Maria Grazia Chiuri has reflected on Dior’s links with Britain ahead of a new exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams opens to the public on Saturday (02Feb19) and features a retrospective that spans from 1947 to the present day, showcasing the famous couturier’s most beautiful designs.

Dior’s creative director Chiuri, the label’s first female designer, is in the British capital gearing up for the opening, and she spoke to The Guardian about the importance of holding the exhibition in England.

“From the moment I came to Dior, the link with Britain was very clear to me,” she shared. “People tend to think of the Bar suit as being very feminine, and it is. But when I look at it, what I see is tailoring – really strong British tailoring. Almost severe.

“For anyone who works in fashion at a brand with a history, Britain is fascinating, because it balances modernity with tradition, which is what we try to do.”

French designer Dior was a huge fan of his European neighbour during his lifetime, and once stated, “There is no other country in the world, besides my own, whose way of life I like so much. I love English traditions, English politeness, English architecture. I even love English cooking.”

The new exhibition runs until July, with tickets priced between $26 and $31 (£20 – £24).

Talking about her post at Dior, Italian designer Chiuri also admitted that she’s “surprised” most days but still always wants “more”.

“It is not just about me, as a woman. I want this brand to be about women, and I want this brand to care about women,” she smiled.

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Dior unveils circus-themed spring 19 couture collection

Dior has opted for a circus theme for its spring/summer 2019 couture collection.Creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri held her latest show for the French luxury label within the grounds of Musee Rodin as part of Paris Couture Week on Monday (21Jan19), …

Dior has opted for a circus theme for its spring/summer 2019 couture collection.

Creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri held her latest show for the French luxury label within the grounds of Musee Rodin as part of Paris Couture Week on Monday (21Jan19), with celebrities including Karlie Kloss, Olivia Palermo, Felicity Jones, Kiki Layne, and Rachel Brosnahan all perched on the front row.

“The circus is a magical place. The imagination of many artists has been stimulated by the fascination for a world that is both wondrous and raw, poetic and indispensable,” wrote Chiuri in her show notes. “The circus is presented as a place of inclusion.”

Drawing inspiration from a number of sources, including the Victorian-era fairgrounds, the Cirque d’Hiver, or winter circus – which label founder Christian Dior had been known to visit, and the work of artist Cindy Sherman, the show kicked off with acrobats from the all-female Mimbre company performing on the catwalk, and continuing to make formations throughout the presentation.

To begin, a model showcased a navy blue velvet dress which was matched with a skullcap and silver glitter ankle boots covered with star motifs.

A red suit with military influence was up second, while a number of ensembles featuring ruffled collars followed.

One model sported a pearl-white satin gown with matching tuxedo jacket, while other standout pieces included a sequinned gown embroidered with celestial motifs, and a nude ballgown with harlequin print on the skirt.

A black shirt dress with white silk lapels was particularly chic, as was a light gold gown with woven bodice and pleated skirt which will undoubtedly be sought-after by Hollywood A-listers for the upcoming 2019 Academy Awards.

To conclude, Chiuri offered up a parade of sharply tailored suits and lavish gowns, with the final number of the event comprised of a gold dress with matching cape.

Paris Couture Week continues on Tuesday with shows from Chanel and Alexandre Vauthier.

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