Sonne breaks through the dark clouds and of course only hits the mere mortal unexpectedly. It’s as if nature wanted to clarify the situation for a moment: Those who wear designer sunglasses and don’t have to blink in horror with their eyes narrowed belong here, at the Dior show in the Jardin des Tuileries. The others don’t. These are either lost tourists, onlookers or journalists who don’t have tickets.
Before many fashion shows at Prêt-à-porter, this image prevails – which is also about the image, because everyone is looking for images. Some want to make some, others really want to be photographed, and if no one wants to photograph them, then they just photograph themselves – god bless the selfiecam! The entrance to the show is usually blocked by hundreds of photographers, all looking for money shots. It is your job to recognize the really successful ones and photograph them well. Although the really, really successful ones, like Kylie Jenner, who is spotted at Acne Studios, are surrounded by a cluster of bodyguards and personal assistants anyway.
At the same time, you can see this again and again: An extremely well-dressed beautiful woman struts towards the entrance, she has brought her own photographer with her, who snaps her in all possible poses with great fanfare. If none of the other photographers notices her, she tries again and again and in different places – until the others take notice too. Always hoping to be discovered or become more famous than the current follower count allows.
A fabulous monkey theatre
This constant striving to see-and-be-seen, the many semi-successful fashion influencers in their sometimes stylish, sometimes completely wrong outfits, which always demand attention, all the exaggerated or completely unsuccessful nose and lip operations that like Carrying trophies on your face – all this is part of a fashion week. It’s fabulous charade, completely over the top, all too often too much and yet oddly beautiful.
At the same time, however, it is easy to forget what the presentation of the new collections is supposed to be about, namely not just being seen in overpriced designer stuff, not just sheer consumption, but really and truly about fashion, and yes, about art . A lot of designers have had something in mind for their shows, they have thought about concepts and put a lot of work into fine, high-quality clothing.
For Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by Paris, the city that is almost vibrant in these days of high culture, the haute couture among cities. The Jardin des Tuileries, which leads from the Place de la Concorde to the Louvre and where the show takes place, was commissioned in the 16th century by the Italian Caterina de’ Medici, who was Queen of France from 1547. Chiuri, another Italian in Paris, sees Caterina as an example of powerful women, also reflects on herself and her own work in this city and has revived the print of a Dior scarf for her collection: a map of Paris printed on, among other things, a trench coat. The collection is an interplay of history and the present, which stimulate each other and yet show something that women’s activists have to realize again and again even in this time: that history repeats itself.