Dior takes baroque-theme to catwalk for Paris Fashion Week

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PARIS, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri looked to the reign of Catherine de Medici and seized on the era’s hoop skirts, corsets and platform shoes, which she worked into a modern lineup for the label's spring collection.

“I think she was the first that understood the power of fashion,” Chiuri told Reuters in an interview, describing how the 16th-century queen of France had introduced platform heels to raise her petite stature.

Models in wide, bell-shaped hoop skirts, lace shorts and long black coats covered in embroidered flowers paraded through an elaborate grotto structure, carved from layers of cardboard.

Built by the artist Eva Jospin, it sat in the center of a temporary structure set up in the Tuileries gardens.

Crowds gathered outside under umbrellas, angling for a glimpse of the celebrity arrivals, which included K-Pop star Jisoo, Natalie Portman and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The LVMH-owned label marked the second day of the ready-to-wear shows for Paris Fashion Week, which runs through Oct. 4.

De Medici introduced embroidery to the French court, noted Chiuri, who included three-dimensional flowers in raffia and delicate lace lingerie in the collection -- while keeping things modern, using technical fabrics for crinoline skirts and leaving midriffs exposed for many of the looks.

The idea was to create a "baroque party in a contemporary way," said Chiuri.

Reporting by Mimosa Spencer; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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