PARIS (Reuters) – Christian Dior paid tribute to the skills of its ateliers at its Haute Couture runway show on Monday, as models in pale, minimalistic gowns glided through an all-white showroom-turned-catwalk lined with mannequins.
A palette of powdery colors dominated the looks, with some gowns in dusty pink evoking soft ballerina costumes, in a collection that designer Maria Grazia Chiuri described as a focus on craft over flashy fashion.
The surrounding mannequins, stacked to the ceiling and wearing prototypes of dresses, added a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes feel of the show.
“We are in this time where the idea of couture sometimes is wrong because people believe that couture is expensive so it has to be visible. We have to try to explain that couture is another story,” Chiuri said backstage after the show, staged in the gardens of the Rodin museum.
Models, some wearing berets with veils, hit the runway in an array of understated evening dresses in sandy pinks and oranges, while some donned skin-colored, see-through gowns. Others were adorned in dusty pink flowers.
Only a handful of houses are officially allowed to style themselves “Haute Couture” with a number of major brands including Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent absent from the club.
To qualify, houses have to be approved by French fashion’s governing body and fulfill criteria covering staffing, skills and the service offered to private clients.
Model Karlie Kloss and actresses Katie Holmes and Kate Bosworth were among the stars sitting in the front row, and Bosworth said the craftsmanship was plain to see.
“(It) is just a tremendous amount of work and attention so I really appreciate it from that point of view,” she said.
Paris Haute Couture Week runs until July 5.
French label Givenchy, another brand which like Dior is owned by LVMH, also celebrated its ateliers at its show on Sunday, as designer Clare Waight Keller appeared at the end of the presentation alongside the team of couturiers.
Waight Keller is also known for designing the long-sleeved, boat necked gown that Meghan Markle wore for her wedding to Prince Harry.
(This version of the story fixes spelling of name in penultimate paragraph)
Reporting by Maya Barkin and Johnny Cotton; Editing by Sarah White and Matthew Mpoke Bigg