The old images of female oil paintings often represent the ideal representation of the male gaze in media but Dior’s feminist designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri, used these paintings to make a fashion statement on female empowerment and subjugation.
As the installation of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece “Lady with an Ermine” happened many fashion insiders were ushered into the venue and gazed upon the many different wall paintings. As the spectators viewed the paintings, one thing became highly noticeable: each female painting had a strange set of double eyes. This sort of symbol is set to represent a new future of the female vision in art.
Through these oil paintings and the work of Mariella Bettinschi, Chiuri started to explore and deconstruct historic female fashions. Some of the age-old female fashions such as corsetry, the 1940s bar jacket, and sheer layering were all reimagined to fit into the light of the modern independent woman.
With all of this inspiration from the past, Dior also used the most modern fashion tech to build a concentration upon the concept of armor or protection against the world.
With a smoldering combative expression, the first model wore a “fierce, minimalist body suit” with white lines that resembled both a skeleton and a cutting pattern. The bright multicolored leather gloves from the 1800s were contrasted with the biker styles with padding at the knuckles.
“A silver bar jacket had dark sporty ribs. Corset-like tops had fastenings made of plastic toggles, in one of a multitude of fashion forward touches. A black perforated corset was stiff and impenetrable.”
The message that Chiuri was conveying is that “Women have been subjugated for so long, so now we’re going to use those same clothes to empower ourselves as we move into the future.”
Once again women have used the tools of oppression to build themselves a brighter future and a new world.