Dior's Grecian goddesses kick off Paris fashion extravaganza
PARIS (Reuters) - Christian Dior took the fashion world back to ancient Greece on Monday with vaporous peplum-style gowns and shimmering golden numbers at its Haute Couture show, part of a twice-yearly showcase of one-of-a-kind outfits by top designers in Paris.
Some models showed off glittering fringed looks fit for the movie awards season while others wafted down the runway in more delicate, translucent styles with flowing capes, as Hollywood stars Uma Thurman and Sigourney Weaver looked on.
Haute Couture Week, which runs until Jan. 23, is a display of hand-crafted creations by a small club of fashion labels - designs usually bought by a single client and tailored just for them.
"The things that apparently seem simple are the most difficult," Dior's womenswear designer Maria Grazia Chiuri told Reuters before the show.
"There's an idea that couture is about embroideries, something that is very rich. From my point of view that's an old fashioned vision of fashion and haute couture."
Many of the Dior looks came in muted tones, from pale lilac to white, toga-style dresses with braided belts or collars. Show-stealers included a golden-feathered cape worn over a pleated gown.
Within the grounds of Paris' Rodin museum, guests sat inside a giant sculpture of a "mother goddess" by American artist Judy Chicago. She also created banners alongside the runway bearing messages such as "What if women ruled the world?"
Chiuri, who previously worked for Valentino, has sought to put a feminist stamp on her designs since arriving at the LVMH <LVMH.PA>-owned brand in 2016, and has collaborated with different artists and writers for every show.
"I'm focused on project which is about feminism ... with each collection I try to reflect on this element," she said.
Dior is one of the bigger labels on display during Haute Couture Week, and is backed by the vast resources of its parent group. Some smaller ones hit hurdles as they prepared for their shows - strikes crippled French transport throughout December and affected industry suppliers and deliveries.
French designer Christophe Josse had to cancel his runway event. Julien Fournie, who is going ahead with his on Tuesday, said his couture label managed to get ready by ordering fabrics way in advance.
"It made us focus on the essence of the collection," Fournie said. He would present 28 looks instead of the usual 30 to 35, he added.
(Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Andrew Heavens)