From cabaret feathers to smooth fits and velvet robes, Dior celebrated Josephine Baker and the wild freedom of the Roaring Twenties in a celeb-packed present on Monday to kickstart high fashion week in Paris.
A parade of stars had been within the entrance row, together with Anya Taylor-Pleasure, Kirsten Dunst, Rosamund Pike and Ok-Pop’s Jisoo, to see Chiuru’s homage to the American icon who made Paris her house and not too long ago grew to become the primary lady of color to realize a spot within the Pantheon, the place French greats are buried.
Singer, dancer, activist and member of the French Resistance, “Baker was an awesome artist… who used her garments to ascertain herself and her place,” Maria Grazia Chiuri, head designer for Dior womenswear, informed AFP forward of the present.
Baker was a shopper and muse of Christian Dior himself — her athletic physique and brief hair representing a distinct femininity from the slim-waisted determine of his iconic “New Look” of the Thirties with its well-known bar jacket and corolla skirt.
Baker got here to Paris in 1925 to carry out within the Revue Negre on the Champs-Elysees Theatre the place she was anticipated to play as much as the racial stereotypes of the day.
However fast success freed her to transform her look, changing into an Artwork Deco model icon and later embracing fashionable fits.
Chiuri’s assortment paid tribute to every of her manifestations, with feathers and silver fringes evoking her cabaret day, via the flowing smooth fits of her later model, and the extra masculine fits evoking her swinging sexuality.
Baker fled France throughout World Battle II after the Nazis grew to become (rightly) suspicious that she was serving to the resistance, however she returned to Paris after its liberation and wearing a navy uniform to assist the rebuilding effort.
“The pictures of her in uniform are extraordinary. She had an unimaginable consciousness of what she might do together with her notoriety, put it to the good thing about different girls,” stated Chiuri.
The gathering additionally took inspiration from one in every of Baker’s contemporaries, and one other pal of Dior, actor Marlene Dietrich.
Collectively, they “signify younger girls far forward of their time,” stated Chiuri.
The Roaring Twenties was “a specific historic second,” she added. “Particularly in Paris the place girls had a substantial amount of freedom, silhouettes had been simplified, corsets disappeared. Their manner of dressing was comfy whereas remaining female and really glamorous.”
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