Dior’s Fall 2021 Couture Collection Effortlessly Married Art With Functionality

After a series of visual presentations through fashion films and digital shows, Dior is back on the runway with an in-person spectacle for Paris Couture Week Fall 2021. This season, Maria Grazia Chiuri (creative director, Dior) shifted the focus to the art of embroidery. Each piece depicted a unique story that started from basic materiality and later transitioned to fine couture with the infusion of surface ornamentations. Textile artist and curator Clare Hunter’s book Threads of Life played an instrumental role in inspiring Maria to experiment with the craft.

The final lineup of Dior’s Fall 2021 couture collection 

The haute couture show took place at the Rodin Museum in Paris. A French visual artist Eva Jospin created the Silk Chamber, which had lifesize embroideries displayed on the walls: a forty-meter-long immersive gallery, entirely hand-embroidered in India by the artisans of the Chanakya Atelier and the female students of Chanakya School of Craft, founded by Monica Shah and Karishma Swali. The work paid homage to both the Indian-inspired Embroidery Room at the Palazzo Colonna in Rome and Virginia Woolf’s feminist work, A Room of One’s Own. The decor perfectly aligned with the show’s theme and served as a mirroring backdrop for Dior’s texture and technique heavy ensembles.

“Our vision is to empower women to be torchbearers of India’s artisanal legacy and to integrate traditional craftsmanship in contemporary fashion to promote cultural and social sustainability of our traditional crafts and arts. This show is such an important milestone and a big step in that direction for us!” shared Monica.
Female students of the Chanakya School of Craft 
“At Chanakya and at our school of craft, we are honoured to represent our country’s craft legacy for the Dior Haute couture collaboration along with French artist, Eva. This collaboration resonates deeply with the school’s core values of inclusion and cultural sustainability, acknowledging that culture is embedded in craft, working towards preserving and transferring it to keep it alive for our future generations,” shared Karishma.

Embroidered installation designed by Eva Jospin, hand-crafted in India 

The silhouettes ranged from neatly pleated skirts, flowing drapes and creatively crafted knits to sheer gowns, tweed jackets, coordinated pantsuits and skirt suits. In a familiar palette of various tones of grey moving into neutral, navy, pastels and a few coppers and golds, the show-stopping attire was a sage green see-through gown with 3D foliage embroidery. Departing from the traditional closing looks, this one was for the risqué bride.

Allowing the garments to be the heroes of this collection, no major accessories were sent down on the catwalk.

(L-R) Tweed skirt with a black mesh knit and sage green gown with foliage effect 

As normalcy returns to Paris, we saw a number of A-list Dior loyalists reclaiming their front-row thrones. From Jennifer Lawrence and Cara Delevigne to Jessica Chastain, Monica Belluci and Suki Waterhouse, the show had celebrities from Hollywood and the modelling world in full attendance. Besides them, the label’s true allies from the social media world also made their way back to ground zero of the couture haven.

(L-R) Jennifer Lawrence and Cara Delvigne at the Dior couture show 

As Maria continues to uphold the legacy of the iconic design house, in the process, she is also rewriting the fundamentals by incorporating art as a constant pillar in all her thoughtfully designed lines. Her approach to fashion heavily relies on beautifying the basics and emphasising on details that tie up her entire vision poetically.

Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Director, Dior 

Photo Courtesy: Dior 

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