Exclusive: Maria Grazia Chiuri offers an in-depth look inside her Dior Haute Couture Fall 2020 collection. Courtesy Dior
Today’s Dior couture show was prompted with an important nod to the past, offering a key to understanding the deeper significance of its digital showcase streamed online. During World War II, in France, the “Théâtre de la mode,” a collaboration between artists and designers, saw dolls made and dressed in couture fashion. A touring exhibition, it offered a way to showcase artisanal savoire-faire in a new way and show that haute couture would never be snuffed out. Today craftsmanship and technology merged as people from across the globe turned to their phones and desktops to watch the Dior couture show exclusively online. Rather than a runway, Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri brought viewers inside a whimsical and magical world via a short film. The scene: lush greenery offered intimate seclusion, particularly for two amorous fairy people tucked inside a tree’s alcove meanwhile a mermaid swam languidly through grass-filled waters.
Gently prodding the various forest folk were two men, dressed as hotel bell boys and carrying a larger-than-life dollhouse, a trunk embodying 30 Avenue Montaigne, Paris. Inside, little doll mannequins dressed in Dior Couture Fall 2020 tempted the characters’ gazes until one by one, they all succumbed to the beauty of the cloth and the craft. These are the gowns first viewed in the Dior couture atelier, with petites-mains preparing dresses with romantic Grecian-style plissé, or a graphic, belted coat with full skirt, a lavender-hued feather ballgown, or a midnight black cape featuring layers of tulle evoking a creature of the night when worn. “Surrealist images manage to make visible what is in itself invisible,” comments Chiuri. “I’m interested in mystery and magic, which are also a way of exorcising uncertainty about the future.”
Revealing that she started working on the collection during the lockdown, Chiuri knew from the start that, out of necessity, it would be related to a fantasy world. Chiuri’s collection is exceptionally brought to life by Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone in a visual feast for the eyes. For the moment, couture may seem like a far-off myth, but like all things out of reach, time apart will only serve to make the heart beat harder.