Protest was on the mind as Maria Grazia Chiuri created her newest autumn collection. And you can't blame her. Just two months into the year, 2018 has been full of them, from the global wave of women's marches to the recent Stateside student mobilisation against gun violence. There's a lot to speak up about, a fact Maria Grazia has not shied away from since becoming creative director of Dior in 2016.
The creative director, a mom of two millennials, has also made it a mission to steer Dior to a more youthful place, regularly adding denim, sheer dresses, shorter shorts and skirts and bright graphics into the fold. So in a way, both of her trademark subjects converged for autumn/winter '18.
She said she was inspired by the pivotal student protests in 1968 and the Youthquake that defined the decade, drawing parallels between then and now: 'the times were changing, as were the bodies, faces, attitudes and personalities of those who initiated this sartorial revolution – an earthquake that forever changed the way we dress.'
And while there's always a certain, subtle unease that creeps up when fashion uses the language of protest in its commercial world, Maria Grazia's consistency in calling for women's equality speaks to her general sincerity and commitment to the cause.
What all of the above means for your wardrobe next fall (and here is where the tension between activism and fashion gets tricky) is a rise of school uniform-inspired plaid skirts and blazers, an idea we saw in Milan just days earlier at Versace.
Think Clueless' Cher Horowitz (the Instagram meme-artist and LouisvuittonShop contributor @Siduations hilariously called it with one of his viral mash-ups), only with more substance. If Maria Grazia has anything to do with it, you'll also be wearing a lot of patchwork.
She showed a lot of it, in a multitude of colour ways (autumnal marigolds and eggplant, denim blues, and rainbow multicolours seemingly passed through a sepia filter), and styles (coats, dresses, skirts, you name it.)
These were upbeat, appealing clothes, no matter where your politics and personal beliefs sit.
And there were cagoules!
This has been the winter of England's Beast from the East and New York's Bomb Cyclone. And the shows are currently unfolding against a backdrop of snow and ice in Paris. It's cold.
So it makes perfect sense that the balaclava, as it's also commonly known, is now trending on the runways (previously seen at Calvin Klein, Gucci and more). No matter what the rest of your winter looks like — marching on Washington, pounding the pavement in Paris, or both —we could no doubt use them.