The reinterpretation of the 1950s – for this Dior autumn-winter 2023-2024 ready-to-wear line – is also a means for theCreative Director to explore, in ever new ways, the history of Dior and to further delve into French style by focusing onthree extraordinary figures: Catherine Dior, Édith Piaf and Juliette Gréco. These three women shared an independentspirit that guided their choices. Singular protagonists, each of them was able, through their lifestyle, to subvert femininestereotypes that were part of the post-war mind set.
For Catherine Dior, this was accomplished through her choice to grow and sell flowers as a message of hope. ForEdith Piaf and Juliette Gréco, it was through their voices and their supreme stage presence. Expressing the soul of Parisor inspired by existentialist thinking, they created a wardrobe that reappropriated their heritage and staged it in anarrative marked by physical emotion and the intense rhythm of poems, literary texts turned into unforgettable songs. Theexperience of clothing is the tactile embodiment of a form of thinking, a means of approaching, of tuning into the world.
This Dior collection is the very signature of a femininity that goes against the grain. Rebellious. At once strong and fragile.The floral motifs chosen by Monsieur Dior have been revisited: mottled fabric is interwoven with a metallic thread thatbreathes life into the fabric, rendering it malleable, erasing contours to obtain an abstract effect. Primary colors takecenter stage: ruby, emerald, topaz yellow, blue. Delicately nuanced tartan fabrics distinguish coats, jackets and straightskirts, which can also be worn beneath large coats, like the “corolle” skirts. Poplin also shimmers with metallic thread.Embroidery composes little bursts of light.
Celebrating the kaleidoscopic image of a femininity outlined by powerful icons, inhabited with awareness, these creationssuggest emotional paths for the new generations of women shaping our future.
Valkyrie Miss Dior A set design created especially for Dior by Joana Vasconcelos
For Maria Grazia Chiuri, the decor for the presentation of the Dior autumn-winter 2023-2024 ready-to- wear collection plays a fundamental role in highlighting her inspiration. For this unique show, she asked the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, born in Paris in 1971, to occupy the venue with one of her monumental installations – entitled Valkyrie Miss Dior –, a proliferation of organic forms interacting with the architecture. The techniques habitually explored by this artist – sewing, knitting, crochet –, typically associated with the feminine realm of artisanal savoir-faire, contrast with the giant and visual character of her work specially conceived for Dior. Maria Grazia Chiuri wished to create a dialogue with her about Catherine Dior, Monsieur Dior’s sister, a strong, independent female figure, a member of the French Resistance, who devoted much of her life to the florist trade. In her collections, the Creative Director often pays homage to Catherine, a veritable model of female emancipation. For Joana Vasconcelos – who is interested in the personal and collective stories of women whose lives set examples – Catherine Dior is a Valkyrie. In Norse mythology, the Valkyries are deities who serve the god Odin. Touched by the role of these powerful, brave, and combative women, the Portuguese artist is developing a project celebrating creative freedom. Her monumental work dreamed up for this Dior event occupies the space in an almost tentacular manner. Its free form, organic, from which it feels impossible to escape, is composed of fabric, lace, embroidery and crochet compositions, including “islands,” where the audience is invited to sit. Textile traditions preserve, in the future, the recollection of their past, they possess a pervasive intelligence. Joana Vasconcelos usually works with fabrics that evoke a memory of origins and the strength of artisanship for her. For the Dior défilé, she chose to use floral mottled fabrics inspired by the House’s archives, a tribute to Miss Dior’s flowers and to the splendor of nature so dear to the founding-couturier, thus connecting places, times and cultures. Joana Vasconcelos reactivates, through emotions, the intrinsic beauty and the constantly renewed interweaving of femininity and feminism that punctuates her work as it does that of Maria Grazia Chiuri