The new romantic dresses with flounces of flamenco inspiration by Dior will transport you to Seville

It’s strange, to say the least: before I came to Dior as creative director (as, you know, the first woman to lead the company in 70 years) in 2016, Maria Grazia Chiuri I had never developed a cruise collection. Since then, he has created six, in his own way. Because where others see (yet another) business opportunity, the Roman designer has turned the line into a sociocultural research laboratory focused especially on the various craft traditions that she discovers in the places she travels to.

Little remains to be said about the last stop of her trip on June 16, 2022 in Seville, given that all the Instagram posts that showed the designer visiting the Basilica of Santa María, the leaked images of the monumental staging in Spain Square, watching the local artisans involved in the collection (the saddler Javier Menacho, the jeweler Pedro Ramos, the goldsmith Jesús Rosado, the queen of Manila shawls María José Sánchez Espinar, the hat makers Fernández and Roche), singing and a phenomenal dancing (Blanca Li, Belén López, El Yiyo, Carmen Amaya in spirit), and frantic chatter in the front row just before the show started. After all the excitement, Chiuri sat down with Fashion Spain from Paris to explain a creative process that gives insight into the designer like never before.

Together with the artisan Javier Menacho, the model Grace Valentine wears a silk twill blouse, an embroidered tulle skirt, a handmade Cordovan wool cap, a leather belt and leather shoes. Everything from Dior’s 2023 cruise collection

Photographed by: David Gomez-Maestre. Styled by: Beatriz Machado. Makeup & hair: Egon Crivillers/ Kasteel Artist Management for Le Pure, Sisley, and Oribe Hair Care. Photographer’s assistant: Miguel Benajes. Stylist’s assistant: Juliet Sartor. Production: Another Agency. Thanks to Artesanía En Piel Javier Menacho and Yeguada Pepe Torres.

Cruise collections have long lost their original meaning to become a formula that allows a constant flow of new products to be maintained in stores among the main ready-to-wear lines. Why did you decide to add significant cultural value to what is just a sales strategy?

Maria Grazia Chiuri: The cruise collections are an invitation to travel. That’s the idea. The question is how to interpret it. In my case, traveling is like knowledge: knowledge of a territory, of the people who inhabit it and of the artists who express their creativity. The beauty of traveling lies in meeting people. I like to define these collections as Community projects, in which several creators participate, who show us how different we are. Fashion can make us see other realities, particularly through crafts. There is a tendency to see only what happens in Paris, Milan, New York and London fashion weeks, but the fact is that fashion manifests itself everywhere. Making it visible favors exchange and enrichment. And enrichment is always good.

Is it the duty of a designer to show social and cultural responsibility in his work?

CMG: I firmly believe it. I understand that Dior is a global brand, which means it has a huge responsibility. Also, we are a couture house, which allows us to support the continuity of small crafts. I come from Italy, which is a country where fashion is lived in a completely different way than France, where it is part of the cultural system, even at an academic level. Italians don’t have the same sensitivity, perhaps because their mentality is more businesslike. The problem is that if you are not aware of its sociocultural value, you run the risk of losing certain traditions, that know-how that comes from the family, which means belonging. Sometimes, it’s hard for us to recognize simply because these are things you see every day, that you take for granted. Until someone comes from outside, makes you perceive your reality, and you understand how exceptional it is.

See also  Syafinaz Selamat and Danial Dashuki approach KORLOFF Paris at HABIB KLCC