The past several months have caused turmoil in the fashion industry. With the world shutting down due to the global pandemic, travel got cancelled, factories shut down, workers lost their jobs and raw material became hard to get by with new border controls and thousands of flights cancellations. Moreover, fashion shows, weddings and social events got cancelled. The uniform of the times became sweat pants and a t-shirt for most of us.
As you can imagine, luxury fashion, especially the houses catering to luxury events and evening wear, came to a halt. Digital Fashion Week soon became a thing. If school and work meeting could be done through zoom, why not fashion shows? Each and every designer collaborated with a short video of either sketches or inspiration short films.
Our favourite take on fashion with the pandemic restrictions is by far coming from the house of Dior. Maria Grazia Chiuri showcased doll-sized gowns for her Surrealism-inspired collection in a short film directed by Matteo Garrone.
Creating miniature gowns was inspired by le Théâtre de la Mode, a travelling theatre of miniature fashions devised by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne after World War II to revive the Parisian fashion industry that had gone to ashes during the war. It figured 237 doll-size pieces, all created in haute-couture standards. The theatre toured European cities in 1945, and the event was reprised in the U.S. the following year.
The model worked then, and Chiuri reinvented it, today, in 2020. The miniature gowns were created to 40% of their proportion and then presented in a brilliant short film where Dior showcased the 37 pieces. “All the dresses are really couture dresses. We made them in the real proportions with the real textiles, with the real craftsmanship,” Chiuri said. “It’s playful, but it’s real. You have to see yourself in a dress.” The doll-sized dresses will then travel around the world to customers who cannot make it in person to the atelier.
This brilliant concept is embracing both sustainability and cleverness, while the house's petite mains continue to impress with creations that are marvels of skill and precision, and a tiny reminder of couture’s haute resilience