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. Christian Dior enjoyed going to the Cirque d’Hiver, which is where, in 1955, Richard Avedon, who intuitively captured the essence of Monsieur Dior’s style in an extraordinary way, took his famous photo, Dovima and the Elephants, an image that perfectly evokes the wonder and majesty of haute couture.
For Maria Grazia Chiuri, this fantastical creative chaos provided the starting point for the spring-summer 2019 haute couture collection. The visual unfurling of the pieces that compose it represents an unleashing of the memory and the imagination associated with the circus through costumes, fashion and art, extending and the evocation of Cindy Sherman’s work focusing on clowns.
This collection consists of a superposition of images: a woman’s tattooed skin, reminiscent of the Victorian circus and its fairground phenomena, becomes a motif-drenched unitard that shapes the body and tells a wearable story under dresses. Powdery shades that come together and blend into an in nite palette – like those on the curtain painted by Pablo Picasso for the ballet Parade – also symbolize this sense of the worn, of the ne dust that sprinkles stage clothes. Skirts embroidered or inlaid with opaque sequins are shortened as tutus that nod to the circus codes of acrobats, tamers and riders.