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Dior pays homage to Marlene Dietrich’s refined look in New York show

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It’s that time of year when the big European fashion houses take their pre-fall shows on the road. First up, Dior, at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. What does the rarified, archly feminine Parisian house have to do with Brooklyn? Good question. 

“I’ve always been inspired by the practicality of post-mid-century American style,” Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior’s Italian creative director, explained before Monday’s show. “I grew up with those films where the women always wore sneakers on their way to work and changed their shoes once they were in the office.” 

Christian Dior loved the United States too. Two years after launching his house in Paris, he opened a luxury ready-to-wear boutique on New York’s Fifth Avenue, making slightly Americanised versions of his main collections. 

There were no sneakers walking down Monday’s catwalk, although Chiuri took her bow in a Dior pair which she wore with a black trouser suit. If last year’s show in Mumbai riffed heavily on classic Indian tropes, this “American collection” was less literal, more about a state of mind. That said, there were stars and stripes on a silk sweater, aviator jackets, double denim, canvas bags woven with silhouettes of the Statue of Liberty (a gift from France) and lots of black. The latter sounds like a clichéd summary of New York style – except that many of the New York editors in the front row were dressed in, yes, black.  

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