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Dior presents a collection celebrating Josephine Baker and the Roaring Twenties



(Paris) From cabaret feathers to sleek suits and bathrobes: Dior celebrated Josephine Baker and the freedom of the Roaring Twenties in a collection presented Monday in Paris, on the first day of haute couture week.

Singer, dancer, member of the French Resistance and human rights activist, “Josephine Baker is a great artist and the only woman of color to enter the Pantheon who, through her clothes, determined her position and she- same,” said Dior womenswear stylist Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Client of the house of Dior, the African-American artist, with her muscular body and short hair, embodies another femininity than that of a “flower” woman in Dior’s iconic New Look with soft shoulders and a thin, underlined waist. by the bar jacket and the corolla skirt.

In 1925, she left the United States for Paris to perform in the Revue Nègre at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, where she reincarnated racial stereotypes.

But a few months after the success of her first show with strong colonial imagery, she changed her dressing room and representation: first as an Art Deco icon, then in suits or resistant “uniforms”.


Velvet coats evoke pieces that an artist puts on in her dressing room after the show.

Fascinated by the role of clothing in this metamorphosis, Maria Grazia Chiuri pays homage to each of these stages in the collection: the music hall with metallic materials, fringes, feathers, sets with mini-shorts or a bodysuit, then long, flowing dresses from the 1920s and 30s, then straight suits.

Velvet coats evoke pieces that an artist puts on in her dressing room after the show, this moment between the stage and real life, a metaphor for the identities that are being built behind the scenes.

“Immediately after her success, she made very precise haute couture choices: daytime suits, but also pleated skirts… The images of her in uniform are extraordinary. She had an incredible awareness of what she could do with her notoriety, how to put it to the benefit of other women, ”underlines Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Joséphine Baker or Marlene Dietrich, friend of Christian Dior and another muse of the house and of this collection, “represent young women far ahead of their time. It’s a collection for a woman who wants to choose her own way of being,” she adds.

The collection refers more generally to the Roaring Twenties, “a particular historical moment, especially in Paris where women had a great deal of freedom. Silhouettes have become simpler, corsets have disappeared. Their way of dressing was comfortable while remaining feminine and very glamorous”.

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