DIOR HAUTE COUTURE | The return to “being present”


DIOR HAUTE COUTURE | The return to “being present”

The materiality of fabric becomes form, while the subversive language of embroidery is expressed in a project that becomes a performance.

Reclaiming the values of haute couture after this period of restrictions when the Dior collections designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri were mainly presented through film.

The materiality of fabric becomes form, while the subversive language of embroidery is expressed in a project that becomes a performance. An energy resembling poetic pleasure, at the intersection of style, movement and attitude. Through textile research, a series of pieces, featuring an assortment of checks, tweeds, textures and different dimensions in black and white, showcase innovative warp and weft constructions.

This Dior haute couture autumn-winter 2021-2022 collection by Maria Grazia Chiuri takes place within a singular context. The return to “being present” implies shifting attention to a tactile materiality. Translating this materiality in the virtual age also means reinterpreting embroidery: not just as a decorative ornament, but as an element connected to the senses of sight and touch.

Textile artist and curator Clare Hunter’s book Threads of Life* has played a fundamental role in this collection in terms of bringing critical awareness to the indispensable value of weaving and embroidery, two crafts that Maria Grazia Chiuri holds dear as transmitters of memory and gestures of protection, care and protest.

The work Cha m bre de Soie, created by French artist Eva Jospin, provides a backdrop for the show, with lifesize embroideries displayed on the walls recalling the Indian-inspired Salle aux Broderies in the Colonna Palace in Rome. This creation serves as a precious decor for presenting dresses with magnificent pleats, trains, and hand-woven chains that compose patterns on the body, in colors dear to Monsieur Dior, such as powder blue or nude. Not forgetting a green dress featuring astonishing embroidery.


Couture stirs unsuspected desires and reveals the existence of what we did not know. Isn’t that the role of the avant-garde? To make visible what one does not see. To define, through artistic practice, the longings of a world in the midst of profound transformation.


*Published in 2019 by Sceptre, Hodder & Stoughton, in the UK and Harry N. Abrams Publishing in the US.

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