Yesterday evening, I was invited by Dior to an intimate ladies dinner at Hotel Widder in Zurich to watch live the Dior Cruise 2021 from Lecce. The way fashion shows are presented has changed due to the current pandemic, but the excitement stays the same.
The collection was revealed with poetry and enchantment, behind closed doors in the emblematic Piazza del Duomo, in the heart of Lecce, Puglia, a region close to Maria Grazia Chiuri’s heart. Spanning fashion, traditional craftsmanship and committed contemporary art, the silhouettes appeared amid a spellbinding scenography illuminated by the mesmerizing glimmer of Luminarie, fanciful traditional light installations reinterpreted here by Marinella Senatore.
A summer landscape with Baroque architecture bathed in sunlight, Lecce is more than just a dream destination. For her cruise collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri pays homage to this land of the heart and its virtuoso craftsmanship. An enchanting ode to Italy – a country Christian Dior celebrated as early as 1947 – which has become a constant source of inspiration, a passionate creative history.
«During this period, I sought to give collective efforts a new dimension. Despite the disadvantages of distance, bringing a different perspective to our daily lives has given us strength and imagination,» says Maria Grazia Chiuri, who for this Cruise show has chosen to reconnect her creative passion with the region of Puglia, a place close to her heart. Texts by the anthropologist Ernesto De Martino dedicated to the region’s traditions – which have influenced authors including Germano Celant and Georges Didi-Huberman – led her to explore their roots. Puglia and its different energies, where magical beliefs such as Tarantism (disease or form of hysteria that appeared in Italy in the 15th to the 17th century and that was obscurely associated with the bite of the tarantula spider; victims seemingly were cured by frenzied dancing) live on, have become in this particular context a concrete form of utopia, a new reading of the world.
A true celebration of Puglia’s traditional arts and crafts, the Dior Cruise 2021 collection highlights the excellence of these priceless skills. The 90-look collection was proof how one can combine the bohemian and the haute. There were pinafore dresses, blanket-fringe skirts, and hand-knit sweaters, models wore handkerchiefs in their hair combined with flat boots. and of course there was another Book Tote. When you look closer, you will detect the embroideries and craftsmanship that went into every single outfit. The handmade natural leather corsets added this certain twist that I adore. A really beautiful collection that will hit the stores in October 2020.
Photos: © Dior and © Sandra Bauknecht