Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first show for Dior was a feminist statement that came out swinging. But her couture debut for the house today in Paris was much softer, even fairy-tale-like. The entrance to the show, an elaborate Dior-branded labyrinth, was a clue to the theme. Inside, set design maestros from Bureau Betak had turned the Musée Rodin into an enchanted forest of sorts — the front row was covered with moss, and the woodland set included glittering trees. The models sported Maleficent-like masks or elaborate Stephen Jones–designed headpieces featuring flowers and feathers, and some wore massive butterfly chokers. Chiuri evoked changelings, or Sleeping Beauties — half-fores- creature, half-girl. The show ended with current Dior face Ruth Bell wearing a unicor- horn-like fascinator.
The set and millinery aside, the collection hewed fairly traditional. Chiuri nodded to the Bar Jacket silhouette in the first few looks of the show, then focused on sweeping, romantic gowns with floral or astrological embroideries (according to one behind-the-scenes video from the atelier, a morning horoscope reading is a house tradition). Get ready to see some of these looks again come Oscars time.