There are few things that feel more romantic than staging a show at the Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City – where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera met for the first time – as rain falls lightly into the courtyard to Mabe Fratti's Nadie Sabe. This is exactly what Maria Grazia Chiuri chose to do for Dior's Cruise 2024 show last night, as the brands next stop at monumental locations to hold shows.
Mexico is a country that Chiuri has reportedly felt a connection to for many years, and through her meticulous research of the country, as she does with each show location, she came to discover that the House of Dior's first visit was in 1954. This, coupled with the countries strong ties to the power of nature and its long history of impressive female artistry and the centring of their voices, served as a perfect platter of inspiration for Chiuri to feast upon for Cruise.
Leonora Carrington, Tina Modotti, and Kahlo all attended university within the grounds of the Colegio de San Ildefonso. This knowledge was enough to make the location feel as though it yielded a higher power. Chiuri's dedication to celebrating female artistry and women's voices is a constant within all of her collections, and here in the courtyard, she doubled down on this commitment.
There were many moments that were direct references to Kahlo. A pink dress reminiscent of one that she wore in one of many of her self-portraits, punctuating a mostly monochrome collection. There was also a three-piece suit like the ones she wore at the age of 19, which were counterpointed by full skirts, worn with a traditional tunic: the huipil, paying homage to Tehuana custom. None of this referencing is done without the employment of local artisans, which Chiuri engages each season when exploring a new country. Together with the Atelier, their embroidery skills can be witnessed across full dresses and shirts, and, notably, the bar jacket, which is crafted of rich velvet and embroidered with butterflies and floral motifs.
Elsewhere, billowy cotton shirts and low slung skirts accessorised with beaded necklaces and oversized belts add a relaxed attitude to everything, while reappearances of the book tote harkened back to the House's signature silhouettes.
Most notably was the finale, where 20 models emerged in white toiles from the Dior archives, which had been stitched with words and symbols by a group of sixteen women embroiderers in red cotton threads. It paid homage to the work of Mexican multidisciplinary artist Elina Chauvet, whose work A Corazón Abierto (Open Heart) was conceived to highlight the silence surrounding instances of femicide. Models gathered in the centre of the courtyard, rain falling on their bare chests as the show closed out. It is moments like these when we are reminded so precisely of Chiuri's crystal clear vision for the House of Dior. All there is left to do is witness.
Watch the full Dior Cruise 24 show, below.