Paris Fashion Week’s spring 2023 season is just getting started and typically, Dior is the first big maison to kick things off. Each time the brand show its new collection, there’s guaranteed to be a subtle new play on intellectual messaging from creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, as well as a star-studded front row. This year, there was also an immersive castle set and striking dancers. Read on for everything you need to know about the Dior spring 2023 show.
Catherine de’ Medici Served as Muse
Creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri has long taken influence from powerful, feminist muses—and for spring 2023, she dedicated her collection to Catherine de’ Medici, the powerful 16th-century ruler who clearly had her own perspective and did things her own way. Medici was, of course, an early adopter of high heels and the corset. Here, her three-decade reign of power was reinterpreted through luscious Baroque-Goth getups replete with hoop skirts, gilded gloves, architectural corsets, black lace, and Medieval embroidered flowers.
The structure and silhouette was definitely more directional than what we’ve seen from Chiuri in the past, and in many ways, also offered up more of a fantasy-fueled storytelling element than her recent collections. Down to the dancers and even a strong soundtrack featuring Björk, the entire collection hinted at strong silhouettes through the female gaze. That includes the dresses—which swayed toward the softer side of the 16th century, showcased through bloomers and little knee-socks—as well as the more modern, slightly apocalyptic Goth looks, with their epic folds of lace trailing the runway. The air of royal luxury was only aided by all that embellishment, including romantic eyelets, bows, and flowery surface decoration. Chiuri says she was also inspired by a map of Paris, which she printed on a 1950s-era Dior scarf.
The Set Was a Medieval Castle, Reinvented
Stepping inside the atmospheric venue built in the middle of the Jardin des Tuileries, guests witnessed an expansive, sculptural castle made of cardboard and emphasizing the duality between artifice and reality, in the middle of the runway. Artist Eva Jospin designed the installation and looked to The Buttes Chaumont grotto in Paris, the Villa Borromeo Visconti Litta in Lombardy, and the frescoes of the Palazzina Cinese in Palermo for inspiration.
Dancers Took Over the Venue
Dutch choreographers and brother-sister dance duo Imre van Opstal and Marne van Opstal opened the show with an interpretative dance performance that wound around the runway and through the set. Coinciding with the theme of the collection, the wildly expressive choreography took inspiration from the Renaissance, reinterpreting the idea of rebirth through harmonious movements and sculptural shapes.
K-Pop Glitterati Dominated the Front Row
All eyes were on K-pop stars at Dior. Blackpink’s Jisoo and Astro’s Cha Eun-woo sat front row and drew massive crowds—all of whom lined up for hours before the show started, just to catch a glimpse of each star entering or leaving the venue.
The Makeup Mirrored the Mood..and Was Inspired by a Model Who Walked the Show
Makeup artist Peter Philips created a remixed, crossing, flicked cat eye. It was exactly the kind of powerful beauty statement a modern Catherine de’ Medici would have made, given her affinity for using fashion and beauty as a tool of power and self-expression. The look also drew inspiration from real-life makeup worn by Stella Lucia, one of the many cool girl models who walked the runway.