Monday 24th of June 2024

Nairobi, Kenya

Maria Grazia Chiuri

Maria Grazia Chiuri has always had her heart set on establishing creative exchanges with African cultures. With this collection, she sought to dialogue with the real and imagined landscape of Morocco, at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Europe and Africa, as a dream destination for artists, poets, writers and eternal adventurers.

Showing the 2020 Cruise collection in Marrakesh represents a way of being guided by the memory of the House and Christian Dior’s first successor, Yves Saint Laurent, a native of Oran who was fascinated by Morocco.

This show also illustrates the concept of a meeting of ideas, a “common ground” like the one feminist philosopher Naomi Zack describes, in which, despite all differences, exchanges among women can materialize through reflection and action.

This collection is a world map connecting images and ambiances that, on this side of the Mediterranean, have shaped our visual culture. Its original inspiration – and veritable emblem – is Wax print fabric.

The anthropologist Anne Grosfilley explores its complex origins and evolution. The incredible story of this fabric unfolds like a family tree, a journey that winds its way from Europe and Asia, extending into Africa.

Wax print fabric celebrates and federates diversity; it is the fabric of a cultural melting pot. Maria Grazia Chiuri collaborated with the Uniwax factory and studio (in Ivory Coast) to reinterpret Dior codes by integrating them into the weave of the fabric for a special edition.

Revisited in Wax, new toiles de Jouy come to life, recasting various landscapes or reinventing tarot motifs. The Bar suit, like all the other pieces, exalts the power of fashion as an inclusive, transnational language.

The Dior archives attest to this fascination, in Marc Bohan’s Jungle silhouette or a scarf printed with an African lion that gave life to a savannah bestiary. Landscapes that inspired authors such as Albert Camus, Paul Bowles, Alberto Moravia and Bernardo Bertolucci unfurl across warp prints, jacquards and fils coupés.

At the crossroads of culture and emotion, Maria Grazia Chiuri underscores the power of Nature, an evocation punctuated with ecru silk, silk gauze, and shantung that, in shades of sand, indigo or burned red ocher, enhance coats and suits, pleated skirts and trousers.

Through its cultural dialogues, the Cruise collection offers a condensation of diverse realities and temporalities. Fashion itself is a unique fabric inspired by countless places and times that gives rise to a new vision. Through this magical act, Maria Grazia Chiuri projects a collective memory, a common territory that is open to every kind of possibility.

Content Courtesy of Dior & Nairobi fashion hub 

Dior Cruise 2020 Fashion Show

The Dior Cruise 2020 show is about to begin in Marrakech. Catch all the action, from start to finish, see below.

Scroll through Instagram at any given time and it seems like everybody is vacationing in or at least planning to visit Marrakech. The historic buildings, colorful souks, and local fashion is enough to propel the Moroccan city to the top of anyone’s travel bucket lists, including Christian Dior. This week, the luxury house staged its Cruise 2020 show against the stunning backdrop of the city’s El Badi Palace.

In an Instagram, the brand explained that Maria Grazia Chiuri chose Marrakesh because “the city across centuries has drawn a stream of influential travelers, artists and creatives, from former Dior Creative Director Yves Saint Laurent to novelist and philosopher Albert Camus, photographers Cecil Beaton and Irving Penn, and more.”

Eager to celebrate the intersection of Mediterranean, European and African culture, the brand worked with local artisans, Uniwax a company in the Ivory Coast that worked with the design studio to reinterpret two of the House’s signature motifs: toile de Jouy and tarot cards plus other black designers and artists including Grace Wales Bonner and Mickalene Thomas who, lent their own design touches to the iconic skirt and bar jacket silhouette.

With celebs like Lupita N’yong and Shailene Woodley on the ground, the two-day extravaganza kicked off with a special dinner and traditional music performance at the Palais Bahia. Jessica Alba, who recently celebrated her 38th birthday and is a Dior ambassador, also celebrated with the luxury house.

On the runway, dresses with intricate beading and African-inspired patterns in varying lengths and cuts—maxi, mini, long-sleeved and sleeveless—and the brand’s signature cinched waist made a splash. Patterned head wraps, capes, and jackets added a finishing touch to the looks.

For the finale, Diana Ross surprised the crowd with a performance of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

Content courtesy of Dior , Elle & Nairobi Fashion Hub