Dior Autumn/Winter 2021/22 Campaign Film is a Surrealist Fashion Fairy Tale

Let’s be honest, the best fashion has always had a bit of an element of the fantastical about it – just ask Cinderella. But for going on eighteen months, we’ve accepted grey, anxious reality over the sense of illusory joy that comes with dressing up…and frankly, we’ve had just about enough of all that dreary. Right now we want fashion to – as it has done so many times in the past – whisk us away to somewhere decidedly more transcendent.

But if three is a trend then we definitely have one, as some of the top houses have been creating campaigns that subvert/eschew/ignore said reality for something meant to more uniquely spark our imaginations. First, Balenciaga invited us into a virtual world to witness the unfolding of a futuristic love story; then Burberry set Naomi Campbell within a strange, yet thought-provoking CGI installation; and now Dior have crafted an enigmatic little fashion fairy tale, for the campaign shoot and film accompanying the stunningly beautiful Autumn-Winter 2021-2022 Women’s collection.

It’s the creative handiwork of provocative Russian photographer Elizaveta Porodina, who just happens to also be a clinical psychologist. So her images have tended to draw the viewer into the psychological realms of her subjects – though surely she imprints a bit of her own psyche on each picture, as well. She also employs exquisite coloring schemes, to perhaps represent the vividness of the human imagination (and more specifically her own).

Both the still images and the 57-second clip that make up the new Dior campaign are like portals to an equivocal dream world, bathed in vibrant hues of orange and yellow (the former represents fertility and creativity, the latter vitality and will), and hazy with mystery fascination. There’s actually a kind of meditative, hypnotic quality about the overall production that recalls the ineffable films of Krzysztof Kieślowski.

Sadly, the onset of summer had brought with it the first hints of hopefulness in a very long time – with vaccination programs having proven surprisingly successful – only to have this thing called Delta Variant mostly dash those hopes. So we could surely all be forgiven for wanting to lose ourselves in a bit of fashion fantasy such as Dior and Porodina have conjured here, if only for a moment or two. Oh, and please do call us when reality has better news.

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