Maria Grazia Chiuri staged the Dior Cruise show 2021 at the Piazza del Duomo in Lecce, a town in the southern Italian region Puglia. The show paid tribute to the region’s artisans
For this season’s Dior Cruise collection, Chiuri shifted the focus on paying homage to Lecce’s artisans and traditions, a town of emotional value for the Artistic Director of Dior Womenswear. When the Covid-19 pandemic forced countries into lockdown, Dior announced its show postponement – The show was initially scheduled for May 9. While the world stood still, the weavers and embroiderers kept creating, and Chiuri continued convening artisans and participants, like composer Paolo Buonvino. In collaboration with local craftspeople, she created a collection that merged heritage with haute couture. «This show is about craftsmanship, the references that I remember from the past: the embroidery, the textiles that I saw my grandmother and uncle make when I was a child», the designer underlined.
When Maria Grazia Chiuri commenced working on the line in November 2019, she tapped local artisans for what Chiuri stated as her most personal collection for Dior. As she did for previous collections, such as the Maison’s Spring Summer 2018 collection, Chiuri furthermore paid attention to work with female artists and craftspeople. The location on the Piazza Del Duomo in Lecce was illuminated by the installations’ Luminaire’ of artist Marinella Senatore, immersing the place in a play of colors and lights.
Dior Chief Executive of Pietro Beccari estimated that the event mobilized more than 1000 participants, including local weavers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, artisans and models, stylists, and others. «It is a spectacle; it is not just a fashion show», he stated.
Models wore fringed skirts, corsets. Shirts and shorts found themselves decorated with landscape sceneries; dresses were refined with flowers and butterflies adorning the Tombolo, while others echoed Christian Dior’s Miss Dior dress from 1949. Garments were embroidered by Marilena Sparasci, emphasizing the richness of culture and heritage Puglia’s and tributing to the local savior-faire of the region.
The woven garments seen throughout the collection were created by the organizations Le Constantine Foundation and Tessitura Calabrese, which work on maintaining traditional textile construction practices. Their motto ‘Cantando e Amando‘ (Singing and Loving) — was woven into looks such as a cream skirt paired with a cobwebby top.
The runway was accompanied by an orchestra, performing music of Paolo Buonvino and dancers, who performed a choreography by Sharon Eval. For the final, the models made their way through the moving congregation of dancers, served as the show highlight, convoyed by the concert by Italian singer Giuliano Sangiorgi.
For Chiuri conceiving solidarity toward the events moved her as it «described as a gesture of support not only toward its long chain of suppliers but also toward Italy», one of the countries most affected by the pandemic. «It was a miracle to complete this collection», she said. «We felt it was important for us to give hope for the future to all the people who were working in some way with us on the project».
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