Less than an hour outside of Paris on an expanse of land that reaches over 1900 acres-or a little over 3 miles-is the Palace of Versailles. First built by Louis XIII of France who developed it into a chateau from his family’s hunting lodge, it was expanded, embellished and made into the extravagant palace estate it is today by his son Louis XIV and grandson Louis XV throughout the 17th and 18th centuries . It’s development marked a celebration of style, a representation of French power and wealth, and the consequences of an empire led by the divine right of kings. Versailles and the world of the pre-revolutionary French monarchs stand as testament to the darkness of divine power and the beauty of enlightenment that coexist in the past, present and future.
For Dior’s latest runway show for Paris Fashion Week Fall 2021, Maria Grazia Chiuri took us into the dark and divine world of the former Kings and Queens of France with a 64-piece collection including tweed coats, laser cut leather and tulle ballgowns. Labeled ‘Disturbing Beauty,’ Chiuri’s drew upon references of enchantment, fairy tales and escaping the reality of our own time and dimension. With only a sliver of light illuminating the models as they walked the empty halls of Versailles, Chiuri has established once again with her designs that fashion can be both bold and dark, mysterious and meaningful, and also lead the way out of darkness.
“A new self-awareness, born of a feminine sensibility that knows how to blend memories of the past and maturity, as if by magic.”