The Chanakya School of Craft created a set for Dior's haute couture show Advertisement

Chanakya School Of Craft collaborates with Dior to create a set for its Paris Haute Couture show

The most unlikely collaboration of the season

By ELLE team  January 28th, 2020

Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative director of Dior, is known to add a feminist flair to all her shows. For Dior’s spring-summer 2020 Haute Couture fashion show held at the Musée Rodin in Paris on January 20, the Italian fashion designer worked on a set designed in collaboration with Judy Chicago, an American second-wave feminist artist along with the Chanakya School of Craft.

The collaboration was inspired by Chicago’s iconic work called The Dinner Party, which includes a series of 21 embroidered panels co-created by 150 female students from the Chanakya School Of Craft in Delhi. Each panel took between 500 to 2,800 hours to create and each one was embroidered with a question like “What if women ruled the world?” and “Would there be equal parenting?”

Chanakya School Of Craft was founded in 2017 by the designer-duo Karishma Swali and Monica Shah, under the patronage of Chanakya International, an export house that works with luxury conglomerates like Gucci, Christian Dior and Alberta Ferreti, among others. The school aims to empower women coming from various parts of the country to preserve global crafts such as hand embroidery. Students are trained in 700 techniques that are required to become a master artisan–a role traditionally reserved for men in India.

The school’s co-founders, Monica and Karishma, also helm the high-end label JADE Couture. The duo believes crafts are a part of a collective cultural heritage and that society must preserve this knowledge to pass on to future generations.

Monica says, “The school’s purpose, much like this collaboration, is to bring women together. The ladies who worked on these panels are from all walks of life, age-groups and religions. We’re ever so grateful to the House of Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, and Judy Chicago, role models who not only inspire young women all around the world but also enable their talents to shine through projects like this.”

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Judy Chicago have named the installation The Female Divine, and it will be on public display from January 21-26, 2020 at the Musée Rodin, Paris.