Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior Resort 2020
The Dior Resort 2020 collection greets the new season with a heritage forged out of fire and textile, with Maria Grazia Chiuri taking the lead in reshaping fashion through multiple perspectives. From gathering inspiration from the feminist texts of Naomi Zach and Tahar Ben Jelloun, to seeking out the French anthropologist and African textile specialist Anne Grosfilley, the Dior creative director honours the fashion house’s connections to the vibrant stage of El Badi Palace in Marrakech.
There was no loss of Moroccan spirit in the show. Chiuri’s palette consists of clay-earth and the yellow-greens of the continent. While some simpler pieces introduce a reprieve from the intensity of the collection, it is precisely this intensity that Chiuri highlights and enhances the most, with big prints and intricate detailing that pay homage to decades of Dior history and centuries more of African heritage as a whole.
Chiuri further maintains a dedication to the details of her work via the production process. Layers of cloth and garment each told a different aspect of the backstory of hard work and labour. The team involved in the process was as organic and true to its cultural and historical roots as it could be. Aside from Grosfilley, Chiuri also enlisted the help of Uniwax, a design studio and factory creating 100% made-in-Africa wax fabric; Sumano, dedicated to protecting artisanship; and Pathé’O, known for dressing Nelson Mandela in his iconic eye-catching shirts.
Nigerian milliner Daniella Osemadewa, Afro-Caribbean designer Martine Henry, African-American artist Mickalene Thomas and award-winning fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner were also involved. Each collaborator contributed a reimagining and reshaping Dior’s parallel predecessors in craftsmanship and design.
Casper & Casper are inspired by the significant collection that Maria Grazia Chiuri presented in Marrakech. The ethos for her work lies in the reason and stories behind them. In the past, she’s been known to use the runway as a platform for intersectional feminism, urging that We Should All Be Feminist for her Dior debut.
[QUOTE] “The idea of closing off to avoid arguments cannot help anybody.”
With the Dior Resort 2020, Chiuri does indeed open the field to new configurations of the relationship between culture, fabrics, designers, politics and local artisans. Morocco, sitting at the intersection between European, Asian and African culture, is the perfect stage to present the quintessential Chiuri dogma – that fashion is a tapestry of history and globality, and that both must be acknowledged to be appreciated.