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.
All the Photos Credit: Christian Dior
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.