All images courtesy of Dior

Dior Cruise 2022 saw Greek goddesses in sportswear and swan dresses

Running trainers? Sporty gowns? Björk’s iconic swan dress? Here’s everything you need to know about Dior’s Cruise 2022 show in Athens.

by Osman Ahmed
18 June 2021, 12:41pm

All images courtesy of Dior

What would Greek goddesses be wearing today? Pleated gowns and strappy sandals? Think again. According to Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, arguably the queen of the Delphic goddess gown, the modern Grecian look is all about sportswear. Those goddesses were girls-on-the-go, after all; they had places to be, people to see, mortals to torment. Dior is arguably at the height of fashion’s Mount Olympus, and this year, the French house chose to stage its Cruise 2022 show at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, the ancient marble stadium that once accommodated up to 70,000 spectators and was home to the first-ever Olympics in 1830. If fashion is on the verge of re-opening, here was a sign that the games have begun.

It would have been easy, and expected, of Maria Grazia to go for the pleated Delphic gowns and diaphanous drapes that she has established as the tentpoles of her Dior (and, it goes without saying, there were a few of those here). Usually, they are tributes to the classical statues she grew up surrounded by in Rome — and they, in turn, were inspired by Ancient Greece. In fact, you could say that the Ancient Greek peplos dress arguably the cradle of sartorial civilisation — is MGC’s favourite leitmotif, a recurring symbol of her belief that fashion can be a source of female empowerment. This time, however, she explored something new (for her, at least): sportswear!

Just as many of us have taken to online yoga classes, frantically running around the park, or using wine bottles as barre weights, MGC became a fitness fanatic over lockdown, too. She came to the realisation that freedom is movement, and that movement isn’t exactly in the DNA of Dior’s wasp-waisted, corseted jackets and ball gowns. Yet Maria Grazia has spent her time at Dior trying to modernise its quintessentially constricted glamour into practical, wearable fashion for modern women. And as lockdown restrictions have eased, so too has her opinion of sportswear, which she has largely resisted during her time at Dior — meanwhile, every other House has gone hard on it.

This being Dior, it’s highly unlikely these clothes will be worn for, you know, actual exercise. But the idea, or even fantasy, of athleticism is what’s important. The show was brimming with chunky white trainers, techy fabrics, cinching drawstrings, après-workout dressing gowns, hoodies and retro gym bags. Even her beloved peplos dress got an athletic upgrade with parachute drawstrings and utilitarian fastenings. It taps into the idea of leisure time, and sporty clothes (rather than sports themselves) being the most pervasive trend of the year.

That being said, there was an abundance of Hellenic glamour, too, in the form of white tailoring and gowns inspired by the likes of Marlene Dietrich — specifically a picture of her dressed as Greek goddesses Leda (who was, ahem, raped by Zeus disguised as a swan… hence the Björk-esque closing gown). True to form, Maria Grazia also collaborated with a range of Greek artisans: the tailor Aristeidis Tzonevraki created a bespoke embroidered Book Tote and Bar Jacket; the Soufli-based factory Silk Line Hellenised Dior’s signature houndstooth in silk leggings and shorts; Atelier Tsalavoutas created traditional caps worn by Hydriot fisherman; and Athenian artist Christiana Soulou illustrated seven mythological figures, which appeared on a silky fil coupé jacquard bias-cut gown worn with sneakers. This was a tribute to Greece, ancient and modern; mythical and real. Opa!


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