Dior resort 2021 collection was a personal affair for Maria Grazia Chiuri

Maria Grazia Chiuri celebrated the southern Italian region of Puglia with her Dior resort show.Staging the fashion presentation on Wednesday night in the city of Lecce, more than two months after it was originally scheduled, Italian designer Chiuri cal…

Maria Grazia Chiuri celebrated the southern Italian region of Puglia with her Dior resort show.

Staging the fashion presentation on Wednesday night in the city of Lecce, more than two months after it was originally scheduled, Italian designer Chiuri called on the talents of local artisans to help bring her vision, which she has dubbed her most personal collection, to life.

Although there was no live audience, journalists, buyers and fans were able to watch the show online.

Made up of an earthy colour palette, models donned headscarves to complement their folksy, rustic looks. Fringed hems, peasant skirts and a furry gillet all featured, with sleeker looks coming in the form of a sheer black tulle evening dress.

“For me, it was a dream to do something in a location that is so close to my heritage, because my father was born there. I’ve been going to Puglia my whole life,” Chiuri told WWD. “I wanted to talk about my background and how that influenced also my point of view in fashion.”

And reflecting on her childhood, especially the influence of her grandmother, she added: “All the women in the area at the time had a loom at home. It was like making a trip in my memory, and also to understand much more about myself, why I’m so interested in these things.”

Following the show’s delay because of lockdown restrictions, the local artisans continued to work on the show looks at home.

“It was a miracle to complete this collection, honestly,” Chiuri smiled. “We felt it was very important for us to give hope for the future to all the people who were working in some way with us on the project.”

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Dior joins forces with UNESCO to help disadvantaged female students around the world

Dior has teamed up with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to offer mentorship to female students from disadvantaged parts of the world.The French fashion house launched its Women @ Dior programme, which pairs…

Dior has teamed up with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to offer mentorship to female students from disadvantaged parts of the world.

The French fashion house launched its Women @ Dior programme, which pairs students with Dior employees, in 2017, and has so far helped more than 1,000 young women.

Now it’s expanding the initiative with the help of UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition, offering 100 female students from Niger, Ghana, Tanzania, Jamaica, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka a mentorship with one of its workers and a 10-month Women @ Dior educational online course.

“Out of education comes freedom,” said womenswear creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri in a statement. “For me, it seems essential to help young girls develop their self-confidence: the confidence to dare, to be independent and to do things. This initiative is more essential than ever in order to create the world of tomorrow.”

The partnership was announced on Wednesday to mark World Youth Skills Day.

Participants will also take part in Dream for Change, a local project aimed at empowering girls and promoting the notion of sisterhood and the transmission of knowledge.

“All mentees, in groups, will be invited to create, develop and implement a local initiative supporting the emancipation of young girls in order to help societal attitudes about women evolve and encourage women’s empowerment,” a brand spokesperson said.

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Maria Grazia Chiuri discusses diversity after casting criticism

Maria Grazia Chiuri is happy doing her part in bringing about positive change, but is realistic that she can’t change the world.The Dior designer drew some criticism after debuting the Le Mythe Dior film to accompany her recent couture collection, whic…

Maria Grazia Chiuri is happy doing her part in bringing about positive change, but is realistic that she can’t change the world.

The Dior designer drew some criticism after debuting the Le Mythe Dior film to accompany her recent couture collection, which featured a white cast.

Talking about the Black Lives Matter movement, Chiuri assured Grazia that she takes the issue of diversity very seriously.

“The strange thing is that I’m very sensitive to these issues, even before Covid,” she said. “I’m very happy that we speak about these problems. But it is also evident that these problems have a long history. I can’t believe that only with this pandemic situation we start now to wake up.

“And I think a lot of people who were scared to use their voice start to use their voice. That is good. Sometimes people attack me to say, ‘You are a political designer’. Everybody is political. If you are human, you are political. Nobody is perfect, but we have to try to make something. I don’t think I can change the world, but I can do a little part. If everybody thinks they can do a little part all together, probably we can create a better place to live.”

The film followed the magical story of nymphs and goddesses in an enchanted wood, and the Italian designer stands by her casting for that particular film.

“For me, I think diversity is important but it depends on the situation and the reference,” she mused. “If I do another film, I probably make another casting.”

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Kim Jones talks working with artist Amoako Boafo on new Dior line

Kim Jones had a “clear vision” when designing Dior pieces using artist Amoako Boafo’s work.Jones, the creative director of Dior Homme, encountered Ghanaian artist Boafo’s paintings in real life for the first time at Art Basel in Miami, Florida last yea…

Kim Jones had a “clear vision” when designing Dior pieces using artist Amoako Boafo’s work.

Jones, the creative director of Dior Homme, encountered Ghanaian artist Boafo’s paintings in real life for the first time at Art Basel in Miami, Florida last year, and immediately knew he wanted to work with him.

The pair collaborated on pieces for Dior’s Spring/Summer 2021 menswear collection, Portrait of an Artist, which serves as both a tribute to the painter’s beautiful work and also to Jones’s childhood spent travelling around Africa with his hydrogeologist father, who recently passed away.

“I had a very clear vision. I designed it almost per look rather than as separates. They’re distinct characters from Boafo’s work but each of them is infused with symbols of Dior,” Jones told Business of Fashion about the two roll neck sweaters emblazoned with Boafo’s portraits.

Background details, like ivy seen in a work in progress when Jones visited the artist’s studio in Ghana, also feature in the new designs.

To accompany the clothes, Jones enlisted the expertise of visual artist Jackie Nickerson and Chris Cunningham to create a film.

“I wanted a film about Amoako so people would understand my love for his work,” Jones stated.

The collection also supports Boafo’s newly launched foundation for young artists in Accra, the capital of Ghana.

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Naomi Campbell opens Paris Couture Week with powerful speech about diversity

Naomi Campbell opened the first-ever digital Paris Couture Week on Monday by calling on the fashion industry to do more to embrace diversity. In a video message, the supermodel issued a call to action towards industry leaders, urging them to use the m…

Naomi Campbell opened the first-ever digital Paris Couture Week on Monday by calling on the fashion industry to do more to embrace diversity.

In a video message, the supermodel issued a call to action towards industry leaders, urging them to use the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement to make permanent changes to promote diversity, inclusivity and equality.

“The fight for diversity and for equality has been a long journey in society and in the fashion industry,” the supermodel said while wearing a sleeveless top which read “Phenomenally Black”. “Today, in 2020, we still have a long way to go and the time has come to collectively call the fashion world to task regarding inequality in our workspaces and in our industry.

“It is up to us, it is up to you to start enforcing inclusion of the multitude of identities that compose our countries… It is now more than ever compulsory to include them in a permanent way and not a transient one. It is time to have regular and sustainable conversations with minorities of each countries and cultures, who are already invisible actors of this mega industry.

“It starts now in France. I am Naomi Campbell and I declare Paris Couture Fashion Week ouvert (open). Merci (thank you).”

The first day of Paris Couture Week comprised of digital presentations from Dior, Schiaparelli, Giambattista Valli, featuring Joan Smalls, and Iris Van Herpen, featuring Game of Thrones actress Carice van Houten, among others.

Chanel is among the labels showing on day two.

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Maria Grazia Chiuri: ‘Couture craftsmanship can’t be lost during digital shows’

Maria Grazia Chiuri made sure the craftsmanship of couture wasn’t lost during Dior’s digital Paris Couture Week presentation by creating miniature versions of her designs.Dior was one of the first labels to show at the first-ever digital version of the…

Maria Grazia Chiuri made sure the craftsmanship of couture wasn’t lost during Dior’s digital Paris Couture Week presentation by creating miniature versions of her designs.

Dior was one of the first labels to show at the first-ever digital version of the fashion spectacular, which was forced to move online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Aware that important aspects of couture could get lost in the move, Chiuri opted to make tiny versions of her latest work, as well as present a film directed by Matteo Garrone. She took inspiration from the Théâtre de la Mode, a 1945 travelling exhibition of miniature collections that promoted French fashion in the aftermath of the Second World War.

“The Théâtre de la Mode was an important reference because it promoted culture around the world at a very difficult time,” she explained to Vogue France. “It was a way for designers and artists to come together and say tradition of couture was alive in Paris. I have made 37 designs on miniature mannequins to scale, which are presented in a trunk that will be sent around the world to our couture clients.

“During this time, we have spoken a lot about digital. Digital is important, but at the same time, there is artisanal work and details that are not possible to see in a video or photo. With couture, you have to be able to feel the material and see the garment on the body. Craftsmanship is an important tradition that could be lost at this difficult time.”

Alongside the tiny dresses, which are 40 per cent smaller than their original size, clients will also receive a real-size toile so they can try the pieces on.

For the designs themselves, Chiuri drew on the work of several female surrealist artists, including photographer Lee Miller and artist Leonora Carrington.

“During the pandemic, we have been thinking more, reflecting more, dreaming more. Surrealism makes you dream and so should couture,” she shared.

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Adwoa Aboah refuses to stay silent on stigmatised issues

Adwoa Aboah refuses to “stay silent” because she feels “obligated” to share her personal story with others.The model-and-activist has spoken openly about her experiences through her online organisation Gurls Talk and launched the digital initia…

Adwoa Aboah refuses to “stay silent” because she feels “obligated” to share her personal story with others.

The model-and-activist has spoken openly about her experiences through her online organisation Gurls Talk and launched the digital initiative #CopingTogether last month.

Adwoa, who has worked closely with fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior and Marc Jacobs, hopes the current Black Lives Matter movement will be just the start of change around the world.

“It’s become quite natural to me to speak my truth and talk about subjects that are stigmatised or people find to be taboo,” Adwoa said in an interview with Essence. “I’m not staying silent in general, whether it be talking about mental health or my own story, because I really, truly feel obligated to do it.”

The model hopes #CopingTogether will inspire people to openly discuss what is going on globally at the moment and bring about change for the better.

“I feel ready to make the changes and be part of this new normality. I don’t want to go back to the way it was – in any sense of the word,” she explained.

While Adwoa feels passionately about how she wants to live her life in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, she admits to having doubts and insecurities during these challenging times.

“I switch back and forth from me being in quite a negative head space and feeling like I’m not sure what the next steps are,” the model shared when asked how it feels to be a Black creative at the moment, “and knowing what I want and the changes that I want to see made, but feeling quite overwhelmed by the process and the steps that need to be taken for that to happen…

“(The pandemic) has made me look at how you want to live each day. Not that this is kind of a surprise with the revolution and what’s happening, this was part of our daily lives and we were completely aware of it.”

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Dior creates website for Air Jordan release

Dior has launched a special website ahead of the drop of its Air Jordan 1 OG Dior in a bid to stop resellers buying all the shoes.Kim Jones, Dior Homme’s creative director, unveiled the luxury label’s collaboration with the Nike sneaker brand at the pr…

Dior has launched a special website ahead of the drop of its Air Jordan 1 OG Dior in a bid to stop resellers buying all the shoes.

Kim Jones, Dior Homme’s creative director, unveiled the luxury label’s collaboration with the Nike sneaker brand at the pre-fall 2020 show in Miami in December. The designs – a high-top and low-top sneaker – were meant to hit shelves in March, but the launch date was pushed back due to the global pandemic.

On Monday, Dior teased details about the hotly-anticipated designs, and has now shared further information via a microsite created especially for the drop.

Fashion fans will be able to get their hands on the sneakers, which retail for between $2,000 (£1,600) and $2,200 (£1,770), on a first-come, first-serve basis, and must register their interest online at capsule.dior.com. Made in Italy and edge-painted by hand, the high-top and low-top styles “pay tribute to Dior’s excellence and savoir-faire while drawing inspiration from the rich heritage of both brands” brand reps said.

Potential buyers will need to state their preferred style, size and pick-up location, and are able to register only once for the style and size. If selected on a first-come, first-serve system, customers will be guaranteed the opportunity to buy the pair they want. Personal data needs to match their official ID, which will need to be shown at the time of purchase. Recipients will also be required to present a QR code that will be sent to them.

For the Chinese market, a separate online experience will be held via a WeChat programme.

“Jordan Brand and Dior are both emblematic of absolute excellence in their fields. To bring them together is to propose something exciting and truly new,” Jones said on the capsule site.

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Dior green lights upcoming cruise show in Italy

Dior is going ahead with its cruise show in Italy next month.The luxury French fashion house is moving forward with its Cruise 2021 presentation on the Piazza del Duomo in Lecce on 22 July, and due to social distancing rules imposed in the Puglia regio…

Dior is going ahead with its cruise show in Italy next month.

The luxury French fashion house is moving forward with its Cruise 2021 presentation on the Piazza del Duomo in Lecce on 22 July, and due to social distancing rules imposed in the Puglia region of the country, there will be no audience.

The news was announced in a virtual press conference held by Pietro Beccari, CEO and president of Dior, alongside creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, on Monday.

“It’s the first time Dior (will stage a) show in a big way in Italy. Supporting Italy and the Puglia region – which is on the verge of bankruptcy – is important to us,” Beccari said, as he noted that the show would be a message of support and hope to the world.

“I’m also thinking about models, photographers, hair stylists, make-up artists, production: all the fashion family around a show,” he continued. “Mr Dior founded his house after a war. He had the courage and optimism to do that. This is our DNA: to stand up and ring a bell for the fashion world in this moment. We rise by lifting others.”

Chiuri explained that staging the show in the picturesque region of Puglia was a personal decision.

“It’s very important to me to emphasise how much craftsmanship there is in Puglia and reinvest in it. So many people depend on our work,” she said. “I think it’s also important to remember that fashion week is not only important for fashion family, it’s also important for the city where the fashion shows are. This is also our idea: Don’t forget that we are important for others.”

They also revealed that a haute couture collection will be presented digitally in early July, and Beccari added the fashion house is definitely not abandoning the fashion calendar like other big name labels have decided to do in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Definitely, we will follow the rhythm of fashion week – there are people in Paris who expect us to follow this rhythm,” Beccari said. “We hope to have some audience in September, if not a full room.”

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Milliner Stephen Jones reflects on 24-year collaboration with Dior

Top milliner Stephen Jones is “greatly honoured” to have collaborated with the team at Dior for the past 24 years.The London-based hat designer is considered to be one of the world’s most radical and important milliners, having created designs for the …

Top milliner Stephen Jones is “greatly honoured” to have collaborated with the team at Dior for the past 24 years.

The London-based hat designer is considered to be one of the world’s most radical and important milliners, having created designs for the likes of John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood. As he marks the release of new book Dior Hats: From Christian Dior to Stephen Jones, the fashion star has described just how important his work at the French luxury house has been to him over the years.

“Whereas so much of fashion seems ephemeral, Dior has some sort of gravitas – or maybe that’s in my mind’s eye as conversely, hats are the essence of the whimsical,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “Dior hats run the gamut of simplicity to complexity, but most often they attract themselves to the happy spot in between. What is unique that they complete the outfit but can stand by themselves too. This is crucial, because in reality the hat is not about itself but the person wearing it- whether woman, man or child.”

And while Jones is the director of millinary at the brand, he insisted the hats he makes are always dreamed up in collaboration with creative directors, design teams, and craftspeople.

“The different creative directors with whom I have worked always have their distinct point of view. When they arrive at Dior, they understand that hats are an essential part of the Dior iconography, as pivotal as the Bar jacket, fantasy evening dresses or the colour grey. Certainly, hats underline their point of view; To hat or not to hat? Are hats retro or modern? Do they enrich or dilute? These are perennial questions to be resolved every season,” the designer added. “However, the studio is only one side of the story; for me the Dior Atelier Mode is also a huge part of the creative process.”

Published by Rizzoli, Dior Hats: From Christian Dior to Stephen Jones will be available to purchase from 1 September.

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