A celebration of artisans

From the art of weaving to Luminarie – dazzling illuminated architectures – and from the essential role of dance to the power of ritual music, the House of Dior actively supports this pluralistic and infinitely precious culture while paying homage to Nature and the region’s unique landscapes, as a land that has always been close to Maria Grazia Chiuri’s heart. 


Founded in 1982 by sisters Giulia and Lucia Starace, together with their cousin, Lucia De Viti de Marco – prolonging the spirit and convictions of their mothers – the Le Costantine Foundation aims to promote and dynamize the Puglia region by preserving its living heritage through the teaching of traditional crafts and responsible culture. Set in an enchanting Mediterranean setting, this institution, which celebrates a sense of hospitality, respect for nature and the transmission of the beauty of the gesture, embodies values that Maria Grazia Chiuri holds dear and are now more essential than ever.
Christened "Amando e Cantando", the Le Costantine atelier pays tribute through its name to the traditional songs still sung today by women weavers perpetuating these textile arts, for generations, like an ode to the joie de vivre and creative passion that drives them. The site houses the precious looms on which these fabrics come to life using ancestral techniques.
Highlighted in the 2021 Cruise show, these delicate weaves – mainly bi-color designs – are displayed on various pieces in the collection, while the atelier’s motto* is embroidered on a series of skirts, echoing this excellence.

*“Amando e Cantando" meaning "Loving and Singing.”


    Since 1876, the house of Fratelli Parisi, based in Taurisano in the province of Lecce, has been illuminating local streets and palaces for the feast of the patron saints and other celebrations. Faithful to the tradition of the Luminarie, their creations are part of the city’s charm, creating moments of togetherness and sharing. On the occasion of the 2021 Cruise collection, they highlight works by Marinella Senatore, who designed the scenography with support from Bureau Betak – a captivating dialogue between fashion, traditional craftsmanship and militant contemporary art.


      Agostino Branca is an artisan and master ceramicist based in the heart of Italy’s Puglia region. Born in 1959 in Specchia, in the province of Lecce, he specializes in the traditional techniques of the Salento peninsula. Following these studies, Agostino Branca in 1987 founded his own workshop in Lecce, named Dipinto a Mano (literally, painted by hand). Through his creations, he pays homage to these cultural and historical traditions while developing new processes and affirming his own, more contemporary style. Like works of art, his objects are exhibited throughout Italy, and have traveled as far as New York and Beijing.
      On the occasion of the 2021 Cruise collection by Maria Grazia Chiuri, the artist has designed a series of new plates reinterpreting tarot cards and their themes, such as the Sun and Temperance, and also has combined them with wildflowers, wheat and herbs emblematic of southern Italy and Salento.


        The Tombolo, an extremely delicate style of lace, was created in Italy in the 15th century and spread throughout Europe during the 16th century. Particularly prevalent in southern Italy, this embroidery, which is in danger of disappearing, is made by hand using painstakingly meticulous gestures that are preciously passed down from generation to generation. The motif is first drawn on a piece of cardboard or paper before being pinned onto a small, typically cylindrical cushion and then reproduced in stitches. Specific to this process, wooden bobbins – called fuselli in Italian –, whose quantities reflect the complexity of the creation, are used to tie, twist or bind the threads. The lace then comes to life, much like the flowers and butterflies designed for the Dior 2021 Cruise collection, which alone require up to fifteen hours of work. A true treasure trove of finesse, these embellishments, created in collaboration with Marilena Sparasci, one of the last remaining embroiderers to practice and teach this technique, bloom gracefully on dresses designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri. A tribute to this virtuoso and ancestral savoir-faire, an emblem of Puglia’s rich artisanal heritage.

          PIETRO RUFFO

          • Born in Rome in 1978, Pietro Ruffo studied architecture at the University of Rome before obtaining a research scholarship at the prestigious Columbia University in New York. His work comprises drawing, watercolor and sculpture, as well as complex, minutely detailed oeuvres that require a painstaking creative process. Through his art, Pietro Ruffo explores a wide array of social, ethical and political issues, including nature and freedom, which are at the heart of his thought process. For the 2021 Cruise collection, he produced more than 250 illustrations over three months, in constant dialogue with Maria Grazia Chiuri, taking inspiration from the book De Florum Cultura, published by Giovanni Battista Ferrari in 1638, for the creation of five floral motifs. Adorned with adages such as “Les parfums sont les sentiments des fleurs*” (Perfumes are the feelings of flowers), his spellbinding drawings spring to life on a series of silhouettes, enhanced by the savoir-faire in the Dior Ateliers. An invitation to travel that evokes the everlasting beauty of Puglia’s untamed landscapes.

            *From the travel essay Die Harzreise by the German writer and poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856).

          © Antonio Maria Fantetti