For Dior's F/W 21-22 showcase, their couture collection was unveiled in the heart of the Rodin Museum. Architectural silhouettes dreamt up by Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior's first female creative director and Eva Jospin, a French artist known for her elaborate cardboard structures and 3-D works created an immersive experience like never before. The dreamlike embroidered panels lining the room further added to the surreal setting, where it felt as if reality was enhanced by illusion.
As described by Dior, the collection is a graphic vision of couture that interlinks architecture, nature and textiles altogether. The silhouettes designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri are an amalgamation of elegance and audacity. The exquisite garments, poetic punctuations and charming accessories were all part of her knit-centric collection. From the notion of weaving to the symmetrical natural shapes and soft feathers, this collection celebrates the virtuoso savoir-faire. The result? A showcase that is elegance incarnate, a poetic ode to the craft of hand embroidery, bringing to the forefront the painstaking detail of each deft hand movement, expressed as a surrealistic celebration of artistic craft.
The same vision and aesthetics showcased throughout the collection were applied to the textile architecture that covered the walls with 350 square meters of embroidery. The beautiful landscape essentially features 400 different shades and was made using silk, hemp, linen and cotton threads—hence, the title ‘Chambre de Soie’ (silk room). This magnificent display pays tribute to both the 'Embroidery Room' at the Colonna Palace in Rome and Virginia Woolf's feminist manifesto 'A Room of One's Own'. The design consists of Utopian landscapes and monuments that are a part of Jospin's own universe and are inspired by the beautiful paintings of Nabis artists.
These very special landscape panels were created by the Indian non-profit, Chanakya School of Craft. The artist's sketch guided the artisans towards creating a beautiful masterpiece that consisted of 150 embroidery variations. It took over 320 artisans to complete the grandiose installation within 3 months. And, this is not the first time that the Mumbai based NGO has been a part of Maria Grazia Churi's projects. The Italian designer has mentored and backed the non-profit since the beginning. The Chanakya Institute aims to preserve the finest crafts around the world, with a vision to empower women and to be torchbearers of India’s artisanal legacy.
Karishma Swali, one of the founders of Chanakya School Of Craft, has had a long-standing relationship—of over two decades with Maria Chiuri, and this creative collaboration has definitely yielded exceptional results. In one of her recent interviews, Swali mentioned, "For the entire project, we’ve used only handwoven fabrics and raw materials: a basket weave silk for the base, which we backed with an organic canvas to sustain the weight and magnitude of the panels. Both fabrics were processed using vegetable dyes.” Swali along with her co-founder Monica Shah spearheaded the team responsible for this project. This installation is not just a composition of an aesthetic concept but rather a scenography that is designed consciously by focusing on all the positive perspectives.
This gorgeous collection by Dior is a step in the right direction - towards the sustainable and artistic future of the fashion industry.