Common Ground | DIORMAG

30 April
Shows

Apparition

Les braseros s’illuminent. Les joueurs de Jajouka font retentir leurs tambours. La première silhouette du défilé croisière fend la nuit. Comme une lueur, un long manteau frangé en laine beige, peint au henné, fait son entrée. Il est le fruit du travail des tisserandes de Sumano, qui perpétuent des savoir-faire uniques dans les régions montagneuses de l’Anti-Atlas. Une collaboration chère à Maria Grazia Chiuri qui rayonnait lundi soir au cœur du palais El Badi, tel un vibrant hommage.

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Morgan O'Donovan

30 April
Shows

Dior and Morocco

A source of inspiration magnified by the Dior ateliers, the spirit of Morocco has marked the House’s history and accompanied its collections. 

  • ©

    Raphael Dautigny

  • ©

    Raphael Dautigny

  • ©

    Raphael Dautigny

Presented in Marrakesh, the 2020 Cruise show by Maria Grazia Chiuri pays fervent homage to the richness of traditional Moroccan cultures as well as to Dior’s heritage and savoir-faire. For Christian Dior, incorporating Morocco into his designs is a poetic, open and free geography that began with a chromatic homage. The pureness of white, that “usual colour of light” as Isaac Newton put it – to lessen the sun’s impact – predominates in the Maroc ensemble, a dress and coat in white tulle embroidered in silver, from 1951. The year was not insignificant. It signalled the birth of a collaboration between the Maison Joste in Casablanca and Christian Dior. A unique experiment that would see styles sporting, until the 1970s, the dual label “Christian Dior – Joste – Exclusivité au Maroc” because they were made in Casablanca, after Christian Dior patterns designed in Paris. 

Casablanca was also the name given to a day dress from 1954 on which the whiteness of the Surah silk contrasted with a constellation of small black squares. Perhaps it was worn by Lucky, Dior’s star fit model, during one of the many fashion shows in which she represented the House in Morocco? For several years, in fact, Lucky, “the ambassadress of elegance”, according to Christian Dior’s expression, would return wearing the House’s collections and thus contribute to this shared foundation, this steadfast bond between Dior and Morocco. This affinity would continue in 2004, at the Marrakesh International Film Festivalwhere several looks were unveiled at the prestigious Mamounia palace hotel. 

In successive collections, the artistic directors who succeeded Christian Dior continued to recount this inspiring friendship, each in his or her own way: Gianfranco Ferré, with his ivory silk pantsuit called Rendez-vous à Casablanca, and John Galliano, through tulle bodysuits embroidered like henna tattoos. And, of course, we know the inexhaustible source of inspiration that North Africa, and Morocco in particular, would provide for Yves Saint Laurent, who became Christian Dior’s assistant in June 1955. The young couturier, who hailed from Oran, Algeria, in 1960 designed for Dior a look called Marrakech, a coat in ivory wool. A prescient creation, exceptionally exhibited for this 2020 Cruise collection alongside other designs by Yves Saint Laurent for Dior. 

In presenting her collection in Marrakesh and in incorporating the richness and transmission of an ancestral savoir-faire incarnated by the association Sumano, Maria Grazia Chiuri takes her place in this fascinating history of reciprocal interplays of light between Dior and the African continent, in all its plurality.

30 April
Shows

Common Ground

Last night in Marrakesh, Maria Grazia Chiuri presented her 2020 Cruise collection - a multi-layered cultural dialogue with Africa. Discover the press kit, here.

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Nadine Ijewere for DIOR

Maria Grazia Chiuri has always had her heart set on establishing creative exchanges with African cultures. With this collection, she sought to dialogue with the real and imagined landscape of Morocco, at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Europe and Africa, as a dream destination for artists, poets, writers and eternal adventurers. Showing the 2020 Cruise collection in Marrakesh represents a way of being guided by the memory of the House and Christian Dior’s first successor, Yves Saint Laurent, a native of Oran who was fascinated by Morocco. This show also illustrates the concept of a meeting of ideas, a “common ground” like the one feminist philosopher Naomi Zack describes, in which, despite all differences, exchanges among women can materialize through reflection and action.

This collection is a world map connecting images and ambiances that, on this side of the Mediterranean, have shaped our visual culture. Its original inspiration - and veritable emblem - is Wax print fabric. The anthropologist Anne Grosfilley explores its complex origins and evolution. The incredible story of this fabric unfolds like a family tree, a journey that winds its way from Europe and Asia, extending into Africa. Wax print fabric celebrates and federates diversity; it is the fabric of a cultural melting pot. Maria Grazia Chiuri collaborated with the Uniwax factory and studio (in Ivory Coast) to reinterpret Dior codes by integrating them into the weave of the fabric for a special edition. Revisited in Wax, new toiles de Jouy come to life, recasting various landscapes or reinventing tarot motifs. The Bar suit, like all the other pieces, exalts the power of fashion as an inclusive, transnational language.

The Dior archives attest to this fascination, in Marc Bohan’s Jungle silhouette or a scarf printed with an African lion that gave life to a savannah bestiary. Landscapes that inspired authors such as Albert Camus, Paul Bowles, Alberto Moravia and Bernardo Bertolucci unfurl across warp prints, jacquards and fils coupés. At the crossroads of culture and emotion, Maria Grazia Chiuri underscores the power of Nature, an evocation punctuated with ecru silk, silk gauze, and shantung that, in shades of sand, indigo or burned red ocher, enhance coats and suits, pleated skirts and trousers.

Through its cultural dialogues, the Cruise collection offers a condensation of diverse realities and temporalities. Fashion itself is a unique fabric inspired by countless places and times that gives rise to a new vision. Through this magical act, Maria Grazia Chiuri projects a collective memory, a common territory that is open to every kind of possibility.

30 April
Shows

Magnificent Morocco

Yesterday, in the heart of Marrake­­­sh, the sumptuous El Badi palace positively sparkled for the occasion of the 2020 Dior Cruise show by Maria Grazia Chiuri. A voyage outside of time, punctuated by rich savoir-faire.  

Above, there are only stars. On the ground, thousands of candles illuminate the ancient El Badi Palace with, in the distance, the majestic Atlas Mountains overlooking the night’s proceedings. Within this enchanting, dreamlike setting unfolds a décor magnified by unique creations produced by the craftswomen of Sumano, who also created a coat for this collection, a unique piece woven and painted by hand. The association is dedicated to perpetuating and preserving the exceptional savoir-faire of women weavers in the Anti-Atlas region and women potters based in northern Morocco. As the guardians of ancient traditions, these women pass down their savoir-faire from mother to daughter. This homage - a symbolic passing of the torch that Maria Grazia Chiuri holds dear - radiates throughout this incandescent palace, with its benches and cushions covered in artisanal fabrics hand-painted with henna, reflecting the Mediterranean art de vivre. The site’s sprawling, sand-colored esplanade – the night’s catwalk – is decorated with their ceramic pottery and carpeted with patterned mats that are woven and embellished by hand. Edged with rose bushes and lush orange trees, a central waterway dances with reflections of an infinite play of lights coming from braziers and torches.

Further heightening this enchanting scene are the melodies played by Jajouka players, who are proud of their thousand-year-old history and whose percussions, bamboo flutes and ghaitas (the Arabic oboe) mingle with electronic rhythms by the English group The Orb, pioneers of the “ambient house” style.
For one night, the El Badi Palace, the late sixteenth-century “Palace of the incomparable”, offers up all of its splendors of yesteryear. Through the 2020 Cruise show, Maria Grazia Chiuri asserts her wish to create a dialogue between cultures, a promise of a shared horizon, a common ground rich in diversity.
 

29 April
Shows

Magic moments

In the heart of the El Badi palace, guests – Lupita Nyong’o, Mademoiselle Agnès, Amira Casar, Karlie Kloss, Sophie Fontanel and Susie Bubble among them - shared their impressions of Dior's 2020 Cruise collection. Secrets from an enchanted evening. 

29 April
Shows

STARS IN DIOR

Lupita Nyong’o, Jessica Alba, Karlie Kloss and Jeanne Damas were among the starry turnout for the 2020 Dior Cruise show on Monday in Marrakesh.

  • Lupita Nyong'o

  • Shailene Woodley

  • Karlie Kloss

  • Jessica Alba

  • Haim

  • Amira Casar

  • Negin Mirsalehi

  • Camila Coelho

  • Leandra Medine

  • Jeanne Damas

  • Lena Perminova

  • Emmanuelle Seigner

  • Viola & Vera Arrivabene

  • Lucie de la Falaise

  • Caroline Issa

29 April
Shows

The Show Looks 

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