If Women Ruled the World, What Would They Wear?
From the goddess to the governess at Dior and Chanel, and beyond at Iris Van Herpen. At the couture shows this week in Paris, fashion designers begin to address reality.
A few decades ago, around the time she unveiled her breakthrough work “The Dinner Party” and formulated her animating question “What if Women Ruled the World?,” the artist Judy Chicago made a maquette of an enormous sculpture she wanted to build.
Entitled “The Female Divine,” it would be a reclining corpulent nude, reveling in her own fleshy abundance. At the time, Ms. Chicago couldn’t get anyone to fund the piece. “Who would want to see that?” was the general drift.
Approximately 40 years later, enter Dior. On Monday, the brand made Ms. Chicago’s dream a reality. The fashion version of it, anyway.
Instead of a sculpture, the brand built a show space in the shape of Ms. Chicago’s goddess: a 250-foot long, more than 80-foot wide and 50-foot high tent splayed in the gardens of the Rodin Museum, dwarfing the French sculptor’s heroic marbles. Guests entered via a doorway cut into the tent’s curving bottom, like the entry to the birth canal, and strolled inside to sit down in the belly of the woman.