Maria Grazia Chiuri has drawn on classic fairy tales for inspiration, and for fall-winter 2021, the theme continues. Titled Disturbing Beauty, Chiuri borrowed themes from Beauty and the Beast, as well as other works by Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm, exploring vanity and the concept of beauty in our modern age of social media and instant gratification.
“A network of symbols, the tale is hardly just a means of escape: it serves to challenge and revisit stereotypes and archetypes,” the press notes read. “It consists of a narrative projected into the future.”
And Chiuri’s FW21 show setting was nothing if not symbolic: it was set in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles—one of France’s most magnificently narcissistic royal endeavours (watch Netflix’s Versailles for more background)—which was transformed into a shadowy otherworld by Italian artist Silvia Giambrone, one of thorn-like vines creeping out of gilded mirrors with clouded surfaces.
It was the perfect setting for the quixotic collection filled with gowns that drew on Dior’s long heritage of haute couture. In the 10-minute film, models stalked the length of the historic hall, their make-up dark and foreboding, their cadence strong and purposeful, and the clothes a dark fantasy that drew you in.
Standouts included a tiered, ruffled number in seafoam green that cascaded into an inky blue, a sheer, pleated midnight blue gown with delicate organza roses (an archival motif, we are told), and the finale gown in a seductive red, shaped into a heart.