Dior has debuted its Haute Couture collection in Paris, revealing that the entire aesthetic was inspired by Ukraine.

The set was designed by Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko, whom Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri discovered at an exhibition at the MAXXI, the national museum of 21st century art, in Rome earlier this year.

Chiuri decided to enlist Trofymenko to design a series of large-scale wall pieces that would form the background for her designs. It was these pieces of artwork that led the fashion designer to create a series of folklore-inspired garments that paid homage to Eastern European aesthetics.

The fashion designer also the “tree of life,” the leitmotif in Trofymenko’s art, by evoking roots and branches in her gowns.

“It speaks about the circle of life,” Chiuri told Vogue of the collection backstage. “And we have to remember all the time. In some way we need to rethink again now, to move to the future.”

The pallette was largely neutral, comprised of white and off-white pieces with the occasional beige and garment.

Through embroidered coats, folklore-inspired frocks, and silk chiffon plissé dresses, the collection represented “womankind, the continuation of life and a bright future”, according to the show notes.

Elsewhere, we saw pleated smock-style skirts paired with cropped jackets and lace-up boots, oversized sleeves on Victorian-style gowns, and the occasional plaid piece.

Several celebrities lined the front row at the show, which took place in the annex of the Left Bank Rodin Musuem, including Anna Wintour, Naomi Watts, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver.

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