Fuelled by TikTok and our unwavering appetite for nostalgic fashion, the Y2K aesthetic continues to influence from the high street to the high end.
And today, on the first day of Paris Fashion Week, Dior became the latest brand to embrace the revival, with a spring/ summer 2023 collection that went long on cargo pants, corsets and low-slung boxers and jeans.
This was however Dior, and Dior’s Y2K take meant cargo pants in the most gorgeous black floral jacquard and corsets hand embroidered with beautiful three-dimensional floral appliqué, all worn with sculptural baroque-inspired heels.
Brand ambassador Emma Raducanu, Iris Law, Rosamund Pike, Erin O’Connor and Bianca Jagger, plus Maggie Gylenhall, Elle McPherson and Natalie Portman were all sat front row at the show, which took place in a vast structure erected in the centre of the Tuileries Garden.
First commissioned by Catherine de Medici, Queen of France 1547 – 1559, in 1564, the gardens were a fitting location for a show championing corsets, which Medici is credited for bringing from Italy to France in the first half of the 16th century, and heels, given she’s widely acknowledged as the first ever woman to wear a heeled shoe.
The silhouettes of her court were seen in structured basque tops and also vast hoop skirts (also known as crinolines), which the women of that period wore under their skirts but here came exposed: skeleton-like and dramatic.
Elsewhere a map print of an area around the Avenue Montaigne, inspired by a 1950s silk scarf found in the brand archives, was plastered across a trench coat, floaty silk dresses, a bomber jacket and shorts. The idea, said the show notes, was to champion “the map as a means of staging a city, of expressing the cultural complexity of our era, celebrating the power of the women who navigate it daily.”
Dior’s somewhat impractically proportioned new hoop skirts might prove some hindrance to city exploring, but I’d hazard that had the famously fearsome Catherine de Medici been around today, she’d be rocking some power Dior cargos.