For spring 2017, Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri sent a T-shirt reading “We should all be feminists” down the runway. Yesterday, she followed up on that concept with a show that took place under neon signs spelling out words and phrases like “Consent,” “Patriarchy = CO2,” “Patriarchy = Oppression,” “Patriarchy = Climate Emergency,” and “We Are All Clitoridian Women.”
What is a clitoridian woman? It’s a reference to Italian art critic and feminist Carla Lonzi’s concept of the clitoridian woman as opposed to the vaginal woman — a dichotomy based on orgasms. My colleague Bridget Read, who often covers feminism, helpfully defined a clitoridian woman as this someone who “claims political and sexual autonomy through the knowledge of her own pleasure, as in an orgasm separated from penetrative sex, or the patriarchy. Locating pleasure in the clitoris rather than the vagina decouples sexual pleasure from a strictly heterosexuality that relies on the presence of a man.” According to Bridget, it’s indicative of ’70s Italian feminism. It does overlook the fact that there are women who don’t have clitorises or vaginas, but flashing neon signs never were the best way to engage with nuance.
The show had clothes, in addition to the signs. It opened with an impeccably tailored navy suit, fishnets, and Mary Janes: a slurry of businesslike, transgressive, and girlish sartorial choices. Combat boots, miniskirts, fringe, and even a denim vest rounded out the collection. But the real takeaway was the décor. See more below.