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Maria Grazia Chiuri draws on origins of Dior's ready-to-wear line for show

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By Mimosa Spencer

PARIS, Feb 27 (Reuters) -For her fall-winter collection, Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri turned to the roots of the upscale fashion label's ready-to-wear line, drawing on the spirit of the late 60s with feminine, tailored looks sent down the runway on Tuesday.

Models marched around a room lined with thick bamboo canes, parading neatly belted trench coats, flared miniskirts, long mesh dresses sparkling with beadwork and trim jackets. Handbags came in all shapes and sizes, as did the shoes, which included tall riding boots, scrunched at the top.

The challenge for Dior, when its late designer Marc Bohan branched out from intricately-crafted haute couture styles into ready-to-wear designs, was to create a new silhouette, easier for women to slip on as they ventured into the work force, Chiuri told Reuters before the show.

"I think that Mr. Bohan understood very well this new generation," said Chiuri.

"At the time it was very unusual for a couture house to move into new territory," she added, also noting Bohan's foray into homewear designed by Italian artist Gabriella Crespi.

Graphics from the era, introducing the new line dubbed "Miss Dior", appeared on the clothing as starkly outlined paintstrokes on khaki-coloured coats and split skirts.

Dominating the centre of the space were elaborate armour-like sculptures made of cane, works by Indian artist Shakuntala Kulkarni evoking rounded, female shapes, their rigidity contrasting with the slightly loosened, polished looks shown on the catwalk.

Paris Fashion Week runs through March 5, with upcoming shows from Chanel, HermesHRMS.PA, Kering-owned PRTP.PA Saint Laurent and Balenciaga and LVMHLVMH.PA's Louis Vuitton.

Reporting by Mimosa Spencer
Editing by Ros Russell


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