Since Maria Grazia Chiuri took the reins at Christian Dior, slogan tees have become quite the collection staple. First, there was the viral 'We Should All Be Feminists' tee, and the Spring 2018 show's design has caused just as much of a stir. The striped long-sleeve top emblazoned with 'Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?' initially ruffled some feathers until context became common knowledge and it was revealed that MGC was actually inspired by Linda Nochlin's 1971 essay of the same name.
The essay focused on how the media, academia and even museums and galleries kept good female artists out of the main picture, which left many unsettled, when the likes of Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keeffe were being celebrated. Nochlin's piece wasn't about there being no female artists, but the art industry's marginalisation of women, and how male artists continued to prevail even when Kahlo and O'Keeffe were being celebrated. Being the first female to take the top spot at Dior - one of the biggest designer gigs in the entire fashion industry - Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by Nochlin and acknowledged that fashion was equally as guilty for keeping male designers in more superior roles, despite the likes of Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet making names for themselves in the beginning of the industry as we now know it.
Upon hearing of Nochlin's passing at the age of 86, Chiuri wrote in an email: 'It is with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of Linda Nochlin.' 'I have tremendous respect and admiration for the work of this feminist art historian,' she continued, 'who seminal writings raised the conscousness and emancipated the discourse of a generation of women. She was a pioneer, she blazed a trail, and it is now up to us to continue what she started.'
Nochlin's passing likely makes Dior's stimulus and subsequent Spring 2018 piece all the more poignant to Chiuri, who will — if previous seasons are anything to go by — will continue to keep asking questions and play a key part in the future of women in fashion.