Shanghai Fashion Week: Dior Unveils Fall 2021 RTW Collection at the Long Museum West Bund

With US and Chinese naval forces currently and dangerously playing chicken in the South China Sea, we admit we feel the need to look away and just lose ourselves in something beautiful and ethereal – as this long coronavirus crisis has already taken such a considerable toll on our fortitude. And so we have been absorbed this past week in another kind – the good kind – of news coming from the East: the carrying on of the actual physical Shanghai Fashion Week, in China’s capital of style.

No surprise, Dior emerged as a highlight of SFW, as Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri presented the French fashion house’s Fall 2021 collection at the Long Museum West Bund, in the city’s most dynamic creative quarter of the same name. Always brimming with intellectual curiosity, and ever the one to draw upon disparate influences to create new languages of style, here the esteemed designer looked to the vibrant, cheeky Pop Art of Richard Hamilton, as well as Marco Lodola’s provocative, neon New Futurism for visual coding.

Showing silvery, futuristic outerwear, dragon print jumpers, flowery, translucent raincoats, sophisticated plaids, and glammy sequined shorts (all set to the sounds of legendary disco/electro producer Giorgio Moroder), Dior sent a clear message that this autumn would be playful but refined, sexy but insouciant. And as we are ever reminded of the ongoing influence of music on the House, Chinese rockers Black Panther took the stage after the fashion presentation, followed by Hong Kong Cantopop songstress Joey Yung, in, of course, a bespoke dress by Grazia Chiuri herself.

Of course, the very idea of Fashion Week may be permanently altered in the aftermath of the pandemic, with independent designers especially intrigued by the lower costs of virtual fashion shows. But for now, it’s just encouraging, and even a little thrilling, to see something really, actually happen…for real.

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