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A spotlight on a woman gliding down the marble stairs of Athens’s Panathenaic Stadium marked the start of Dior’s Cruise 2022 collection. A building tension created by a live orchestra and ethereal vocalizations saw the center of the field lit with flames, creating a chill as the audience awaited the new designs. In lieu of a runway, the models made their way around the perimeter of the amphitheater track, in looks that fused the house’s elegance with the essence of the city and its history.
Recalling an archival haute couture collection photographed near the Parthenon in 1951, Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri revisited the house’s own designs, while taking notes from cultural elements like ancient statues and the work of surrealist painter Giorgio De Chirico, whose oeuvre was informed by memories of Greece. The mostly white collection featured elongated and draped silhouettes that reminded us of depictions of ancient goddesses, as well as styles that looked like a high fashion evolution of garments that could have been worn in the original Olympic games
The selection was accented with hues like the brilliant blue synonymous to Greek architecture, a lively lemon-lime color, and touches of gold, and was presented alongside an installation of life-sized sketches by Pietro Ruffo—which also made up the collection’s prints. Everyday styles included a series of sportswear-informed looks (like a compression set in blue and white worn with sneakers and a matching handbag), loose-fitting skirts and mini dresses, like a trapeze cut dress with an embroidered graphic, and a selection of tops with draped, one-shoulder silhouettes. Also of note was the selection of oversized sartorial suits—like a gray houndstooth look featuring a matching blazer and knee-length pleated shorts.
For more elevated occasions, Dior introduced a series of gowns in billowy silk and floating chiffon, executed with delicate peplum and hand pleating. The most angelic looks included a sheer gown with a bodysuit and hood, belted at the waist in shiny gold; a plissé houndstooth gown in a buttery hue with a hooded top worn under its plunging neckline; and a gown with layers of white tulle that appeared as though the wearer had a swan draped around their neck.
The collection was completed with dreamy details like tiny jeweled headpieces worn atop a center part, detailed body chains with gold butterflies, pearl-studded bracelets, and tiny pearls applied like makeup under the eyes. The overall softness was juxtaposed with a selection of accessories like leather chest plates that looked like armor, harnesses strapped over softer garments, and knee-high boots recalling gladiator styles.