Dior’s Whimsical Runway Is a Fairytale for Grown Ups


Courtesy of Dior / @Elina_Kechicheva

Dior’s magic is the stuff of fairytales. From its embrace of the feminine mystique to an international, all-star fanbase that includes its newest face, Jisoo of Blackpink, to supernatural growth in sales in 2020 despite a global pandemic, the fashion house knows the power of storytelling. For its fall-winter 2021 collection, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri delved into childlike folklore, this time in the literal form. The aim wasn’t to plop an inaccessible fantasy unrelated to our modern times, but to use it as an impetus to rediscover modern sentiments. As the show notes explained, a fairytale “serves to challenge and revisit stereotypes and archetypes. It consists of a narrative projected into the future.”

The future as predicted by Chiuri removes the cartoonish aspect of our beloved childhood fables and never ventures into kitsch; There are direct references in subtle forms, but it’s never misinterpreted as Disney fodder. Because who doesn’t want to dress like a princess? A red cape in the style of Little Red Riding Hood is a standout look intended for grown-ups, while gowns in oceanic ombre and harlequin prints seems fit for a mermaid, the Queen of Hearts, or the red carpet. Dior’s iconic Bar Jacket is revisited as uniforms for toy soldiers. A rose motif is highlighted throughout the collection in memory of Beauty and the Beast—Jean Cocteau’s adaptation to be specific, a film loved by Chiuri. The collection playfully reads like a compilation of storybooks, neatly captured in 64 looks.


Courtesy of Dior


A behind-the-scenes look into Dior’s atelier.

Courtesy of Dior

As with almost every presentation this season, the show lacked an in-person runway, but still had famed guests virtually seated in its front row. Attendees watched from the comfort of their own homes, decked out in Dior, featuring the likes of Suki Waterhouse, Bae Suzy, and Chriselle Lim (who gave us inside access over at ELLE’s Instagram). We predict that by the time in-person events return, we’ll see our favorite celebrities decked out as Belle and Ariel.

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