Dior presented its new Cruise Collection in Marrakesh, a city positioned at the crossroads of Europe and Africa, at the end of April. The brand described the collection as “a cultural dialogue of savoir-faire between the House of Dior, artists and artisans”. Maria Grazia Chiuri, accompanied by anthropologist Anne Grosfilley, collaborated with the company Uniwax, in Ivory Coast, where the design studio reinterpreted two of the house’s signature motifs: toile de Jouy and tarot cards, giving rise to a special edition done in 100 percent African Wax (from cottons grown, spun and printed in Africa).
The Artistic Director also wished to collaborate with several artists, including Grace Wales Bonner and Mickalene Thomas who, each in her own creative way, revisited the New Look silhouette. Another fortuitous cultural encounter, with Sumano – for both the show’s scenography and one of the collection’s coats – showcased the association’s work in preserving the ancestral knowhow of Morocco’s women weavers and pottery makers. Cushions covered in artisanal fabrics painted in henna and a décor embellished with ceramic pottery punctuated the exceptional architecture of the El Badi Palace, the show’s sumptuous setting.
“As well as being bombastically showbiz – the aftershow entertainment was Diana Ross – this was also, as Dior’s Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri put it the day before, “an intellectual reflection on fashion, which addressed the industry’s red-button issue of cultural appropriation,” said The Guardian. “This new era of Dior is part of a shift in the cultural space occupied by fashion – a shift much bigger than Dior, but which Chiuri has identified and made it her mission to engage with.”