Cue to the ever elusive Rodin Museum in Paris and the embroidered walls of the Silk Chamber by French visual artist Eva Jospin. The perfect preface was inimitably set, in scene for Christian Dior's Haute Couture Autumn Winter 2021-2022 show.
As we welcome the return of in-person physical shows after a three season hiatus, the runway welcomed the present and opened to a captivatingly beautiful and moving set. The melodic keys of piano resounded the embroidered paneled walls of the Silk Chamber as we return to tweed with Maria Grazia Chuiri’s vision for Christian Dior haute couture.
The collection was all about textures and returning to the traditions of women before us and feminist craft. The book ‘Threads of Life’, written by textile artist and curator Clare Hunter was fundamental to Maria Grazia Chuiri's inspiration, in returning to the communion that ties together with tradition, heralding back to the women who embroidered and weaved together as community.
“In embroidery, women work together around the table to stitch together and speak together. It’s community work, the same as in the atelier for haute couture. Especially now, that can give us a sense of solidarity,” Maria Grazia Chuiri tells WWD.
The collection aligned itself with daywear, crafted meticulously from hand loomed tweeds and hand embroidery to signature pleated gowns, hand woven chains and knife pleated skirts. Hand made textiles were of focus for Maria Grazia Chuiri's haute couture with the real avant garde being one deeply embedded in the technique rather than in the performative and the visible.
Peacoats, belted tweed sets and full high waisted skirts made its runway debut; presenting a collection entrenched in history and the codes of couture but one that tastefully renovates tradition to make couture timeless and wearable.
The show finale unravels with couture eveningwear, in gradient chiffons and basket weave bustiers with layers of sheers that envelope and compose the body. Framed beautifully in the Silk Chamber that recalls on the Salle aux Broderies in the Colonna Palace in Rome, the finale beckoned for the Dior bride in couture. As the bride emerged under a foliage of greenery including its matching veil, Maria Grazia Chuiri's Christian Dior Haute Couture Autumn Winter 2021-2022 proved nothing short of drama on the grandest of scales, marking a remarkable return to the physical runways of Paris Couture Week.