Maria Grazia Chiuri on Dior’s Metaphysical Fashion Cruise Collection
Christian Dior’s artistic director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, just organized a metaphysical fashion show and collection cruise in Athens on Thursday evening.
There I met a designer of Roman origin and asked him what was the latest inspiration for the Dior Cruise 2022 collection. Female gods of fashion; create during covid. Her next haute couture plan is the first week of July. We will be opening a new pop-up this summer.
FashionNetwork.com: Where did you get the idea to take Dior to Greece?
Maria Grazia Chiuri: To be honest, it came from that very strong image of Mush Dior in the archives of those beautiful models under the Acropolis Caryatid from 1951. When I saw him, I immediately knew what to do this year. The photo is 51 years old, so I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the birthday in Greece. Planning this show was a daunting task, and I am very happy that it was possible. It’s also a great opportunity to see our own references. I’m from Rome and my dad is from Puglia so it’s part of this Magna Graecia culture. I studied from different angles when I was young, but now I’m trying to do something different.
FNW: Did you go to Greece when you were young?
MGC: I have often been to Greece for vacations. The first time I was 18, I was with a friend. A typical trip out of high school: We toured the islands. I have seen archeology; and visited the Meteora Monastery. It was very exciting. She searches for photos of the monastery on her iPhone.
FNW: Why did you include a reference to Marlene Dietrich?
MGC: I think it is very important in the history of Dior. I was fascinated because she found these images disguised as mythical figures of Leda. An image that immediately understood that it was necessary to work hard to achieve Dior’s vision for this season. It was very cool! What interested me was to think of this very soft dress versus the idea of ââa couture like Dior, which has more architectural designers. These two languages ââare completely different.
This is why I wanted to exchange between these different visions of very interesting clothes. I tried to translate a reference to Mushu Dior, like houndstooth, into a Greek element. This was done with this local supplier and silk, and the result was ultralight. The idea was to show off the dress with sneakers. Ideas of movement, active women, a very good relationship between body and freedom. Now, I think people need the concept of movement in these difficult times.
FNW: Joseph Campbell’s famous treatise, Goddess: I noticed I was reading the mystery of the female god.
MGC: Yes, yes I am completely crazy about him! to me Joseph Campbell is an incredible anthropological thinker and he is very intelligent. I really want to celebrate Mother Earth, the God of women.
FNW: But how do you interpret his ideas in clothes?
MGC: Think in terms of movement. If you think about it, fashion was, in a sense, a way of seeing women as consumers. Where men make clothes that hold women in by restricting their movement, from high heels to very tight dresses.
FNW: I noticed that you are referring to Casa Iolas [a recent exhibition on gallerist and art collector Alexander Iolas]..How was this exhibition at a famous collector? Will this affect the collection?
MGC: Yes I like that. It was last winter in Milan, this magnificent building organized by Francesco Vezzoli. It’s amazing and it promotes metaphysical ideas. I am also a big fan of De Chirico and I want to create the same atmosphere. This idea of ââmetaphysics, where you see the shadow, but you can’t see the human figure very well. I think it’s beautiful.
FNW: How did you do so many shows and videos during Covid?
MGC: It was very hard to work during this time. It is not easy for everyone. This will be the case until at least November.
FNW: I see [Dior CEO] Pietro Beccari has opened two stores on the Greek island of Mykonos to coincide with this show in Athens.
MGC: Haha, that’s his job. I’m doing other work, that’s his problem, and I don’t want to know anything about it. I work here. I have a private office and a studio here on the Seine. You know I live now, I live in the moment. I actually live across from the magnificent Luxembourg Gardens. But you know I don’t see much from my apartment. I spend so much time here!
FNW: Of course, big designers from big houses work hard.
MGC: Dior is a big machine.
FNW: Yes, we have to power Dior’s machine.
MGC: No, a âDior machineâ means a great sense of responsibility. There are so many suppliers and people who work at Dior that no one talks about it much. We are going through a really tough time for a lot of companies and for a lot of these ordinary people who have worked very hard during that time. So I think they are responsible. To be honest, I haven’t worked in my life like this year and a half. I’ve been working from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. for two weeks, but I never come home for dinner.
FNW: It’s been a month since the season, can you tell us a bit about sewing?
MGC: It’s amazing, we show in the garden structure of the Rodin Museum above the fountain. After the couture show, there will be an exhibition of spaces. I’m so happy, it’s beautiful, it’s a brand new piece of art with a new artist that I’ve never worked with before.
Over 10,000 people visited it last year after setting up the decor Judy Chicago designed for Dior for a few days. So this time I will leave the installation for a few weeks. We can’t wait to see you there.
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