Dior drew inspiration from the top of the big top for a playful couture show held Monday in Paris, where models inside a circus-style tent walked through a human arch made of moving acrobats.
The theme seemed to well serve designer Maria Grazia Chiuri, who has struggled to fly in recent seasons.
Hundreds of vintage light bulbs like the ones used at fairgrounds lit up Dior's life-sized circus and a giant wooden pole held up the big top. Guests at the show inside the Rodin Museum gardens gawped at the decor.
Acrobats dressed in the black-and-white costumes of Pierrot, the clown character from French pantomime, entered the stage area on each other's shoulders to begin the whimsical collection that riffed on the circus theme.
Dior has had a long history with the big top — from a famous 1955 photo shoot with elephants in Paris' Winter Circus to the circus theme picked for one of former designer John Galliano's most memorable shows.
And the circus seems to have provided Chiuri, who's struggled to take off since taking Dior's creative helm in 2016, the perfect muse to unlock her creativity.
It was light and fun, without being heavy-handed or overly literal.
A model in a chic sequined helmet wore a white origami skirt inspired by a clown's ruff and featuring a slightly dropped waist.
A clown's multi-colored costume spawned a fantastic knitted tulle playsuit with a stylish Juliette sleeve — a shape repeated throughout the 68-look collection.
Another tulle jumpsuit sported a multi-colored streak in satin bands and dramatically square shoulders.
It was worn atop a "tattooed" body suit that conjured up images of Victorian-era circus performers, one of many details that gave this collection a historic depth.