On Friday, Dior kicked off the first of three Resort 2019 shows to take place in France Louis Vuitton and Gucci are following suit. Dior  Billed the show as “Diorodeo,” and paid homage to the Mexican horsewomen known as the escaramuzas, horseback performers who defied Mexican tradition and won the right to join the normally male-dominated sport. It also referenced Chilean author Isabel Allende’s novel, The House of Spirits, which stars independent female characters. Taking place in the Grandes Ecuries du Domaine de Chantilly in a riding ring decorated with Maypole ribbons, the show had front-row guests gladly opting for second and third-row seats to avoid being pummeled by rain….oh didn’t I mention the rain? It poured. It was beautiful, although due to the pouring rain one could also notice the horses a bit on edge.  The scene was something else indeed.

Artistic director Maria Grazi Chiuri’s heart was in the right place, sharing with her guests a sport she witnessed last summer on a trip to Mexico. But at a time when the fashion industry is confronting its less-than-politically-correct tendencies, this slightly missed the mark…as people were clearly a little uneasy with the display including Paris Jackson who bailed mid-way through the performance.

So the presentation was a bit of a miss but that didn’t stop Chuiri from staying true to her real-clothes-for-real-women agenda. Boxy western-style and field jackets in a new take on Toile de Jouy, pleated skirts, riding pants, and shorts opened the show. Bar jackets worn over full skirts were ready for business, and a leather lace became a fantastic white skirt and top. Wide leather cummerbunds accentuated waistlines, as did bustiers over full skirts that ran throughout with south of the border embroidery and needlework.

The Dior saddlebag also took on a Mexican-handcraft look.

As the rain continued to fall the crowd was moved to the white papel picado streamed stables and once again we mused as to what’s a fashion show without a little drama?