Art will always triumph in the end, even during these unprecedented times. Defying the Covid-19 pandemic, Maison Dior presented its haute couture collection for Fall-Winter 2020-2021 in an exclusive film broadcast live on its digital channels. Drawing inspiration from female surrealists, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Director of Dior women’s collections, seized the opportunity to express alternative visions of femininity through the prism of the fashion doll.
Autumn Winter 2020-2021 Haute Couture Collection
“Surrealist images manage to make visible what is in itself invisible. I am interested in mystery and magic, which are also a way of exorcising uncertainty about the future,” says Maria Grazia Chiuri of her Fall-Winter 2020-2021 haute couture collection for Maison Dior. Taking inspiration from the work of artists like Lee Miller, Dora Maar and Jacqueline Lamba, the Italian designer champions less conventional versions of femininity. In their work, these artists transcended the role of “muse”, going beyond its merely aesthetic dimension.
The collection is embarking on a world tour in a magic trunk replicating Maison Dior’s historic address at 30, avenue Montaigne. The pieces are presented on miniature mannequins, a poetic emblem at the heart of the couture universe, which has previously been appropriated by artists such as Cindy Sherman, who featured this near-magical object in one of her first video projects. The fashion doll is also a reference to the Théâtre de la Mode, a roving exhibition of miniature designs by the greatest couturiers of the day, which toured Europe and America just after the Second World War.
This daring presentation represented a challenge for the Dior ateliers, which had to create flawlessly executed pieces on a miniature scale. Every handmade pleat and fold celebrates the beauty of an elegant, precise gesture, which is the very essence of couture.
Many pieces from the Fall-Winter 2020-2021 haute couture collection were inspired by nature, such as those displaying spectacular gradations of red, like a coral reef swaying in the glimmer of the ocean. The luminous, dreamlike hues of paintings by Leonora Carrington and Dorothea Tanning come to life on the designs of Maria Grazia Chiuri. The finale is equally dazzling, with a sumptuous wedding gown reviving one of fashion’s forgotten traditions.