The Mancunion

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The female boss: Maria Grazia Chiuri

Inkeeping with International Women’s Day, this week at The Mancunion we’re celebrating the female trailblazers of the fashion industry. Let’s hear it for the girls

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The first woman to be appointed as the creative director in the luxury brand’s 70-year history, Maria Grazia Chiuri has proved that feminism is always in fashion. After being the co-creative director with Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino since 2008, Chiuri has now broken up the impressive pair by taking on her new role at the fashion powerhouse Dior. As well as being the creative vision behind Valentino’s stunning collections, Chiuri was also responsible for the Zoolander moment in Paris Fashion Week 2015, injecting a much-needed bit of humour into fashion.

For her debut show for SS17, Chiuri invited Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to be the guest of honour. Adichie is famous for her talk ‘We Should All be Feminists’, and so was the perfect choice to represent the new age of Dior or rather the ‘Dio(r)evolution’ — the slogan that appeared on Chiuri’s collection of t-shirts. Joining Adichie on the front row were the fashion week regulars including Kate Moss, Jennifer Lawrence, and Rihanna. In a further nod to powerful females, Beyonce’s smash hit Flawless featured on the runway soundtrack.

Chiuri embraced the elegant femininity synonymous with the fashion house but gave it her own updated twist heralding the new era of Dior. Floor length tulle skirts were paired with t-shirts emblazoned with the caption ‘We should all be feminists’. Chiuri stated that she wanted to challenge the binary stereotypes of masculine and feminine and create a collection that mirrors the life of the everyday woman. Chiuri mixed fencing style quilted jackets with white sneakers stamped with the iconic Dior bee logo and of course the letters CD. The collection included tulle and more tulle in black, red and pinks, and, in paying homage to her tenure at Valentino, the collection included delicate yet beautiful pieces styled with embroidery, lace and chiffon. The skirts were combined with satin bustiers and biker jackets that gave the classic feminine silhouettes of Dior a tougher edge, showcasing Chiuri’s take on the image of the powerful female.

Chiuri, a proud feminist, has honoured the timeless style of Dior but has given the fashion house a stamp of the everyday, modern woman. Collaborating the old with the new and reconstructing femininity, Maria Grazia Chiuri is the ultimate female boss proving that as women we really do run the world.