With miniature mannequins, Dior unveils post-lockdown collection


French couture house Christian Dior upended its traditional catwalk show on Monday, presenting its intricate designs on miniature mannequins in a twist brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Brands are having to unveil their collections online and through film as part of Haute Couture week in Paris, a showcase of high-end craftsmanship and one-of-a-kind outfits, after the presentations usually attended by fashionistas from around the world were cancelled in the wake of the outbreak.

Dior’s gowns were inspired by female surrealist artists such as photographer Lee Miller and featured intricate embroideries as well as head-to-toe feathers in one lilac look.

The looks were fitted onto 37 tiny dressmaker’s mannequins, which will later be dispatched to top clients around the world, and were presented to the public on Monday through a whimsical film shot by Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone.

A seamstress works at a Dior workshop preparing designer Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Haute Couture Online Fall/Winter 2020/2021 collection in Paris. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

“We made this project in a very particular moment of our lives,” said designer Maria Grazia Chiuri, who began working on the show remotely under lockdown in Rome, coordinating with seamstresses and production crew who were also at home.

The travelling miniatures echoed a format French couture houses last used during the Second World War to try and keep collections going and reach customers.

The looks were fitted onto 37 tiny dressmaker’s mannequins, which will later be dispatched to top clients around the world. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

Chiuri said the label had sought to send the message that “traditions were alive” in Paris.

“It’s a different experience. But I think it’s a beautiful experience,” Chiuri said of working on the film, which featured nymphs and mermaids mesmerized by the couture gowns.

The travelling miniatures echoed a format French couture houses last used during the Second World War to try and keep collections going and reach customers. Chiuri wanted to send the message that ‘traditions were alive’ in Paris. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

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