Welcome to a place far from the city, far from the urban bustle, far from the lights of Los Angeles. Maria Grazia Chiuri chose a wild spot in which nature reigns supreme to present the Christian Dior Resort 2018 collection for the House. The Dior woman as conceived by the Artistic Director strode out to percussion rhythms, weaving her way among the tents of canvas and wood in which the guests sat, with the bare earth acting as a runway and the immensity of the surrounding hills as the backdrop.

This return to the source comes through in each of the outfits. Back to the source of humanity and femininity, first, to recall an era when our ancestors drew on the magic forces contained within the elements: thus a motif of cave paintings, borrowed from a scarf designed by Christian Dior in 1951, appears on silk jacquard for dresses, revisited in large knits, painted on raw-aspect leather, or recomposed from natural shades of fur. Elsewhere, handprints, embroidered with sequins, evoke the wild feminine wisdom of the shamans. The tints of these primitive markings color the whole collection, from ocher to brown through sand, khaki and red. These shades, which express the full force of the earth, are also those of the American desert, a landscape in which, more than anywhere else, one can find oneself through reviving inherent instincts. The embroideries of desert flowers sprinkling tulle dresses evoke this redeeming intuition, along with the tributes to Amerindian culture found in multi-colored striped fabrics, patchworks of leather, fringing and the use of feathers, which, transmuted by the savoir-faire of the workshops, become all-over embroidery decoration on skirts or bags.

Femininity is imbued with the power of the natural elements, also marks a return to the sources of the House itself. Maria Grazia Chiuri culled inspiration from the Dior heritage in order to better speak to the women of today: the emblematic Bar suit of 1947 is revisited in fresh, new ways, in denim or a flaring knit top worn over a skirt of prehistoric inspiration; the fringes from the Bon Voyage ensemble of 1948 are transposed to modern effect on the hem of coats, cuffs, or completely covering garments, as on a white knit tunic. In the looks inspired by the raw force of nature the savoir-faire magic of the ateliers is palpable in the finesse of the embroideries, the masterfully woven raphia, the handling of knitwear, and the innovative furs. Creations with an aura both primitive and delicate; wild, but Dior.

On the home stretch ahead of the show in Los Angeles, with fittings in full swing, the runway models and studio members share their vision of cruise with us.