‘Dior’ and ‘Safa Park’ are two phrases that are not normally heard in the same sentence (unless you’re feeling particularly bold in your J’Adior slingback pumps). However, on March 18, for one-night-only the sleepy Jumeirah park became home to Maria Grazia Chiuri’s mesmerising Dior Haute Couture SS19 show. Like the original show held in Paris this January, the Dubai event was circus-themed, complete with a circus tent imported from France, fire breathing performers and models with Pierrot-esque makeup.
The gates opened at 8 pm, with a cream and white 15 feet high traditional circus tent unveiled between the palm trees at the park, emblazoned with a silver “DIOR” sign above the heavy peach coloured curtain doors. Outside, there was a green carpet for guests to parade their outfits, with fire breathing performers and jugglers in stage makeup and costume performing either side of the tent. Inside, there was excited chatter between guests before the show while the seating snaked around the edge and the centre of the space, giving the catwalk and immersive, theatre-in-the-round feel. Alongside the pieces shown from the January haute couture collection, there were also 15 looks created exclusively for the Middle East, which both opened and closed the collection.
For Maria Grazia Chiuri’s final act, she took to the stage alongside the models, before gold confetti rained down, marking the start of the afterparty. One of the walls of the circus tent dropped to reveal a large hidden room at the back of the tent, kitted out with a bar, canapes, candy and performers dancing on tables, where revellers partied until the early hours.
The “fantastical creative chaos” associated with the circus was the starting off point for Chiuri’s inspiration behind her latest haute couture collection. There were accented ruffs and ribbons, corsets and ballooning pants which narrowed at the ankle. The 15 new pieces for the Dubai show continued the theme, with metallic multi-tone skirts and dresses, capes and of course, ruffled collars, along with Pierrot-themed makeup and caps.
Romantic full length pleated dresses were coloured in muted metallic shades which were shown alongside dramatic petticoat capes paired with thigh-skimming shorts as well as masculine pantsuits. Elsewhere, there were star-covered gowns, jumpsuits and skull caps and pieces decorated in cartoon-esque fire print, similar to an illustration of an explosion from a circus cannon, while other designs incorporated celestial stars, fire and planets embroidered on black net. Perhaps the most unique piece on display at the Dubai show was the sheer black floor-length gown, with violet, gold, cerulean, rose, silver and parakeet circles, with a ruffled floor length train and collar which closed the show.