The circus is a magical place. The imagination of many artists has been stimulated by the fascination for a world that is both wondrous and raw, poetic and indispensable.

Dior’s first female artistic director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, says this fantastical creative chaos provided the starting point for the spring-summer 2019 haute couture collection.

The show, recently held in Paris, was animated with performances by the all-female circus company Mimbre. The visual unfurling of the pieces that compose it represents an unleashing of the memory and the imagination associated with the circus through costumes, fashion and art, extending and the evocation of on clowns.

This collection consists of a superposition of images: a woman’s tattooed skin, reminiscent of the Victorian circus and its fairground phenomena, becomes a motif-drenched unitard that shapes the body and tells a wearable story under dresses. In this collection, Maria employs this broad variety of images to compose her own “parade”, comprising full and very light pants, narrowing at the ankle, which can also become sumptuous jumpsuits. Shorts are paired with sheer white shirts accented with ruffs or ribbons seemingly frayed with the passage of time. There are also leather corsets, sailor stripes, and black jackets inspired by that of the lion tamer. The geometric white clown outfit, whether spare or sumptuous, is reinterpreted through its materials, embroidery and proportions.