Dior Swings Back To The Sixties As Saint Laurent Offers Sheer Bliss On Day One Of Paris Fashion Week

a group of people walking down a hall with christmas lights
The Runway Rundown: Paris Fashion Week Day 1CHRISTIAN DIOR
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Courtesy of Hearst.

On the first day of Paris Fashion Week's autumn/winter 2024 season, Dior and Saint Laurent showed collections that drew on each house's established legacies, both referencing the same era with entirely individual sensibilities. Here, everything you need to know about them.

The Inspirations

A sense of nostalgia is permeating the moodboards across all four fashion cities and for Chiuri, it was a look to the 1960s for her AW24 collection, with the notes saying it was the time when 'fashion left the atelier to conquer the world.' Notably, for the house of Dior, it was the time of Miss Dior, which became a clear point of inspiration as the motifs were emblazoned across the wardrobe of modish clothes to become the show's central tenet.

In notes provided by the house, Saint Laurent explained that Anthony Vaccarello had, like his predecessors, looked to Marilyn Monroe's 'naked' dress (also worn in the 1960s) for inspiration, adding that: 'An unsettling ambivalence cuts through the looks. Puncturing the propriety of feminine artifice, ephemeral lightness turns out to be an illusion: can purity be provocative?'

But what was the central theme of the collection was the designer refocusing the fashion within the fashion show by proving its importance in making garments virtually invisible. It wrote that this creative act 'reminds us of what once was at the centre of fashion by rendering it invisible: clothes.' Read: lots and lots of sheer.


The Clothing

A sense of the Swinging Sixties was most notable in the opening looks at Dior, where modish mini skirts were worn under trench coats and styled with knee-high boots as you might expect, moving through to geometric patterns that spoke of the decade's design eye, worn over tunic tops and flares or prim skirt suits. The influence of the era was less plain to see as the collection moved to fabulous denim pieces (surely to buy denim at Dior is a goal to root for) and instead opened doors on an offering that was easy-to-wear in a palette that varied little between beige, white and black.

As the A-listers that assembled will be pleased to see, Chiuri's seasonal insistence wasn't too closely fixated on daywear. Here was a closing run of gowns that the Oscars' invitees could gladly call upon.

A sense of sheer bliss dominated at Saint Laurent where close-fitting silk dresses revealed and shrouded the women who wore them, pulling focus to a fit and form with a missed opportunity to use more curvaceous figures that could have only further illustrated the house's savoir faire on such pieces. But, overall, the effect was one of intimacy where 'the distance between garment and skin so the two effectively meld and fabric evaporates like mist,' read the notes. Transparent clothing is a signature at Saint Laurent and this season its been further pulled to become the collection's centre piece.

On the note of tones, the palette was subdued drawing inspiration from that of make-up shades only employed to simply 'conceal fragility' where 'adventure entwines risk.' This wouldn't have been Saint Laurent show without some great tailoring and here it picked up a new sense of movement, rendered in crepe georgette, to step away from the usual structured silhouette with a gentler rendering to move over and with the body.

The Accessories

Loaded with retro appeal, it was the the scarf that was pulled into focus at Dior. The show notes explained that the style is 'dear to Maria Grazia Chiuri.' 'In everyday life, at work, or on a journey, the scarf is adjustable and compact, protective, enveloping, and embellishing as required.' Bags were carried cosy in arms and additional embellishment sparkled through fingers in conceptual rings fitted to each look and personality.

a model presents a creation by christian dior for the women ready to wear fall winter 20242025 collection as part of the paris fashion week, in paris on february 27, 2024 photo by miguel medina  afp photo by miguel medinaafp via getty images
miguel medina

The Saint Laurent woman this season clearly has somebody else picking up the bill as they were without handbags throughout. She might be looked after, but she's willing to still carry her coat, as many did to make the feathery styles a styling point of intrigue. Instead, Vaccarello's collection was punctuated with glass-bangled wrists, hair wraps and shoulder-grazing cocktail earrings.

The Sets

As has been her modus operandi since she took the helm at Dior, Chiuri once again collaborated with a female artist for the show's setting. This time, Indian artist Shakuntala Kulkarni was called upon and the result was a series of sculptures depicting figures set amongst the show space.

a group of people walking around a large room with a large group of people in it

'This piece questions feminine subjectivity, not only from the point of view of the body and its social and political vulnerability, but above all from its power in relation to the urban space and social system in which we evolve,' said the show notes.

At Saint Laurent, where an evening show set under the Eiffel Tower has become de rigour, a circular catwalk set in a room cloaked with green damask drapes was offered instead to evoke intimacy, with guests sat on leather sofas as large space-age like (the 1960s again!) plates lit the space. The house explained it was 'a nod to the salons of the Avenue Marceau,' where the brand once held its HQ.

editors note image contains partial nudity model on the runway at saint laurent rtw fall 2024 as part of paris ready to wear fashion week held at place jacques rueff on february 27, 2024 in paris, france photo by dominique maitrewwd via getty images

The Front Row

Dior ambassadors were out in force at the Jardin des Tuileries, keen to learn of Chiuri's new vision for the house and what shape their own wardrobes will take come next season. Jennifer Lawrence, who has long been associated with Dior, was there in a plunging three-piece suit and directional cat-eye shades, which Natalie Portman was also wearing alongside a Dior skirt suit. Others in attendance included Marisa Berenson, Alexa Chung, Yuko Araki, Jisoo and Rosalia.

At Saint Laurent, a glossy posse of legends and brand loyalists. Kate Moss cosied next to Rosé, while her supermodel peers Carla Bruni and Linda Evangelista were there too, the former sat next to Monica Bellucci. Her fellow actors were well turned out with Lily Collins, Olivia Wilde, Catherine Deneuve, and Zoe Kravitz amongst those filling up the front row.

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