twins ruth and may bell star in maria grazia chiuri's first dior campaign

Brigitte Lacombe shot the first campaign from a female designer in the brand's 70-year history.

by Hannah Ongley
20 December 2016, 5:25pm

The fashion world was pretty jazzed to learn earlier this year that Dior would be lead by a female designer for the first time in the house's 70-year existence, and Maria Grazia Chiuri has done little to suggest that her Dior woman won't go down in history. Chiuri's debut collection for the brand was a social media smash hit — you couldn't check Instagram for days without scrolling past a "We Should All Be Feminists" t-shirt tribute to writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — and her overtly feminist message isn't diluted backstage. The designer appears wholeheartedly dedicated to championing female talents, from her runway models to photographer Brigitte Lacombe, who has now shot Chiuri's first-ever Dior campaign.

The new ads star idiosyncratic twin sisters Ruth and May Bell in pieces that best embody the spring/summer collection's youthful, fluid interpretation of femininity. Aspiring Royal Air Force pilot (and i-D cover star) Ruth is for the most part her ladylike sister's counterpart, but their roles are not rigidly defined. In one of the most striking black-and-white shots, Ruth wears a full-length sheer tulle gown while May tries out a crisp white blazer.

"I really wanted to have a woman photographer," Chiuri told WWD of her ladies-first game plan. "I'm really interested in different interpretations of femininity, and [Lacombe] really captures the expression of different attitudes... We really like to describe this new idea about femininity. Dior is very close to femininity, and it's important to describe a modern femininity."

The new campaign is part of a wider enterprise called "The Women Behind the Lens." The project has previously given fans a closer look at the spring/summer 17 show through short film interviews with the models, the women who made Chiuri's first collection, and even in-house calligrapher Lili — all of them filmed, naturally, by women.


Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Brigitte Lacombe

ruth bell
maria grazia chiuri
spring/summer 17
brigitte lacombe
may bell