“Think we must. We must think.” *
Maria Grazia Chiuri for the spring 2020 prêt-à-porter collection is inspired by some images of Christian Dior’s sister, Catherine, portrayed in the midst of plants and flowers, her passion. Catherine Dior is one important figure in the history of Dior. Courageous heroine, endowed with great determination and fortitude, she is Miss Dior. The name of the Maison’s first iconic fragrance is a tribute to her.
Catherine takes care of the gardens of the Dior family. A gardener in the broadest and most complex sense of the term, a free and independent woman, who acts in harmony with the breath of nature and the cycle of the seasons. In this new collection, motifs, embroidery and the shining materiality of raffia evoke the image of lush vegetation: a kind of herbarium that preserves the wonderful memory of botanical varieties.
For Maria Grazia Chiuri creating this collection is not a nostalgic gesture that reactivates a decorative memory. It is starting with questions as we travel. It is questioning what it means today to take care of plants, flowers and nature. If today we live in the era of the anthropocene that definitively sanctions the domination of man on the planet, can we still act to restore balance in this relationship? From this question concrete utopias like that of Monte Verità were born. A community of innovative ideas, founded at the beginning of the 20th century in Switzerland, which has never ceased to fascinate artists of all fields. The aura of this unique place, built in the heart of nature, illuminates a series of rich colors, from yellow to red.
Aware of the responsibilities and visibility of her role as Artistic Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri wants to create an “inclusive garden” where to cultivate coexistence and difference and where to make every gesture important. The set design of this show was designed in collaboration with the group of architects Coloco, engaged in the collective art of cultivating gardens, as an engine of urban inclusiveness.
These landscape artists imagine the parade as a suspended moment, in which plants are temporarily assembled coming from different places. The plants that will be used at the Longchamp racecourse on the occasion of the show will continue their itinerary and will land in some permanent projects, to make this multi-faceted garden immortal. More than a setting, this ephemeral landscape announces the creation and improvement of forests and green areas, rich in variegated plant species, demonstrations that everyone can build and preserve the future and the beauty of nature. The gardener woman, imagined by Maria Grazia Chiuri, observes the infinite and unfinished project that is that small or immense piece of land, which becomes an infinite space of responsible, delicate and at the same time decisive gesture that is an expression of taking care of, caring for, planning consciously.
* Isabelle Stengers and Vinciane Despret (based on a quote from Virginia Woolf), Women Who Make a Fuss: The Unfaithful Daughters of Virginia Woolf, 2014