Dior’s Haute Couture Collection is a Tribute to Joséphine Baker
Dior’s Haute Couture Collection is a Tribute to Joséphine Baker

Dior’s Haute Couture Collection is a Tribute to Joséphine Baker

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Christian Dior honors the icon of the ‘20s, Joséphine Baker, in their Haute Couture collection

Fashion has become a form of art that embodies various inspirations. These sources often vary as designers reference artworks, issues, and personalities who made a mark in history. A character is created through the collision of different concepts and perspectives—a character that is elevated through a series of pieces, which become an extension of the concept.

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It’s a process we are all familiar with as fashion designers come up with their latest collections for the season. This time around for Haute Couture week, we see it happen again yet intensified. Though for Christian Dior, they amplified a personality that had such an unwavering spirit that was full of life during her time, a woman who was driven with purpose and became a role model to many. For their Haute Couture collection, Christian Dior honored the glamorous icon of the 1920s, Joséphine Baker. 

The difficulty of being born as a person of color in the past is something no one can deny. It’s an integral factor in history as people rise up from the discrimination despite the consequences, a cycle that has happened multiple times. It was and still is a problem people fight against in various forms, and for Joséphine Baker, she countered it with art and fashion by her side. 

Having such a platform in that time for Joséphine Baker must’ve been unheard of, but in this era, it’s a representation of bravery and fearless spirit. With her decision to move to Paris, the heart and dream destination for all things creative, the singer-dancer fought against social norms with her choice of profession. As her career progressed, Joséphine Baker became a woman of many things that went beyond the world of art. To name a few, she became a member of French Resistance, a civil rights activist for the African-American community, and a humanist and universal benefactress.

Photo Credit: George Hoyningen-Huene (1931)

She is a role model to many, and in the fashion world, she is known for her captivating aura on and off stage, as well as her stunning ensembles. It was her ability to merge cultures and convey a message through her art that made her a woman ahead of her time. Her fashion had characteristics of the French combined with her adventurous spirit—this is what Maria Grazia Chirui wanted to display in Dior’s Haute Couture collection. 

A modernized 1920s fad is how we’d describe the collection. Silhouettes were kept in the staple flapper figure known in that era, keeping it relaxed as it mimicked the light movement the form is known for. Chiuri balanced some looks with structured pieces such as coats and trouser coordinates finished in neutral tones, a nod to the staple designs of Monsieur Dior. 

To keep the alluring aura of the singer, some pieces are done with a see-through material that are reminiscent of the intimate looks we see Joséphine Baker in when she was in the dressing room. Maxi dresses cascade delicately to the floor as they drape on the models’ figure softly, and delicate embroideries done in art deco patterns decorate the pieces elegantly. And in true Chiuri fashion, floral prints made their way down the runway in forms of a full-length coat, cinched in dress, and a simple slip maxi dress. 

It’s only fitting to have a line of extraordinary women celebrate an icon of bravery and glamour. These personalities have been making waves in their industry as they embody the elegance and modernity Dior possesses. From entertainment, music, to the arts—the House invited a line of remarkable women dressed in their Christian Dior pieces. 

Anya Taylor-Joy
Jisoo from BLACKPINK
Elizabeth Debicki

Photos from DIOR (via Instagram)

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