If you’ll indulge me, let’s talk about a radical idea: female dancers wearing pants. Pants! What an idea! A woman in men’s clothing? It’s downright shocking! Well, not exactly in 2022, but it was in the Spanish flamenco community in the fifties, and that’s precisely where creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri found her inspiration for the Dior Cruise 2023 show, which took place at the Plaza de España in Seville.
In a press release, the designer notes that the dancer Carmen Amaya was “an artist with singular, revolutionary movements” and “was the first dancer in her field to dress in men’s clothing, combining power and fragility through her art.” And the ghost of this iconic figure beautifully haunted almost every aspect of the show. The Dior Cruise 2023 show literally started with a flamenco dance-off between a black-clad man and woman, the latter eerily resembling Amaya. Although they continued to perform throughout the event — with a background of 40+ interpretive dancers — it was impossible to look away from the fashion.
Is it Dior? Is Dior the drama? It was like watching the most decadent of Spanish soap operas, with a new, more theatrical character coming around every corner: The Romantic Ingenue, innocently sexy in a red off-the-shoulder ruffled gown, probably in a love triangle; The Feisty Rule Breaker, daring to wear a graphic embroidered jacket and pants while secretly scheming to take charge of the family business; The Flirty Widow, dressed in all black lace, and showing maybe too much skin for a funeral. The list goes on.
Ultimately, the strongest looks were those that most resembled Chiuri’s source of inspiration and honoured the many Spanish artisans she employed to bring authenticity to the collection. There was bold colour. There was rich fabric. There were intricate details. And there were many different depictions of femininity (did we forget to mention the Equestrian Cousin secretly having an affair?) Whether you want to wear the damn pants or not, the Dior Cruise 2023 show is here for it, so long as you bring the necessary level of drama.
Below, we’ve narrowed down the 110 looks into our 30 favourites.