The tree of life is at the heart of Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko’s work, and the starting point for the Dior autumn-winter 2022-2023 haute couture collection designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri. Painting and embroidery give an emotional charge to this image that is a symbol for different far-flung cultures and mythologies.
The tree of life connects all forms of creation; it supports the sky and connects it to the earth through its branches and roots. Olesia Trofymenko’s emblem is in line with stylistic codes shared by many lands. Maria Grazia Chiuri contemplates fashion through the filter of art, exploring this territory of tradition(s) that appear both enduring and revolutionary, just like couture. This Dior collection is thus composed of a series of pieces through which resonate the imagination of different folkloric customs inspiring all cultures in an open dialogue.
The branches, the trunk, the roots of the tree of life. A vision that features freely on several garments thanks to the profusion of sumptuous embroideries made of cotton threads, silk threads, and yarn. Beige nuances are sometimes punctuated with a touch of black or blue. These embroideries, requiring the time necessary to achieve ultimate excellence, are deployed on cotton fabrics, wool crepe, silk, and cashmere.
The dresses are adorned with patchworks of braids composed of bronze and black lace and guipure. Silk chiffon was selected for the long, airy dresses that follow the lines of the body in a virtuoso interplay of smocks. The materials reinterpret the New Look silhouette: the Bar jacket is distinguished by vertically smocked fabric and the skirt is structured by ribbons forming a basque. Hand-loomed fabrics display precious, irregular textures in garments that banish all hems. Elsewhere, wide silk or cotton embroidered trench coats are associated with long dresses.
This is a matter of shaping materials and forms in the space for reflection that the Atelier represents, permeable to the social reality in which we live; a matter of recalling what it means to be human today. Gestures passed on, learned and always perfectible, are repeated. The tree of life is a call, a warning, to make traditions and gestures shine through, allowing us to recover a balance, if only momentarily.