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Christian Dior Cruise 2021 Collection: An Ode to Italian Craftsmanship

Maria Grazia Chiuri created magic at the Southern Italian town of Lecce giving us the runway experience sitting at our homes amidst the pandemic.

The Italian fashion maison, Dior, put out it’s 2021 Cruise collection with a striking theme to support local craftsmanship and with an aim to keep it alive in this new world of modernisation. The event took place on July 23 in the distant town of Lecce in Puglia, in the heel of Italy’s boot. 

The label was the first one of it’s kind to stage an IRL show since the outbreak of the pandemic but with an online audience. This year Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri celebrates intricate craftsmanship and the fogging culture of the past through her Cruise collection.

Image Source: Dior Website

The event happened at the stunning Piazza del Duomo in Lecce against a theatrical backdrop and elaborate settings of live dance and orchestra. The show began with scenes of the dazzling set celebrating the art of luminaire, illuminating architectures specifically during a local festival. The Italian artist Marinella Senatore set a strong theme for the whole event with strong feminist assertions running along the technicolor backdrop such as, “We Rise By Lifting Others” and “Remember The First Time You Saw Her” amongst others. The show was put together by an orchestra set in the gazebo playing Salento music and a dance troupe choreographed by Sharon Eyal performing the modern interpretation of the Salento based traditional dance Pizzica. The famous Italian singer Giuliano Sangiorgi also gave a post-show performance.

Chiuri’s theme running around the whole collection of bringing the past and present together is beautifully translated into the collection of fringed hem dresses, relaxed suits, wheat embroideries, waist cinched dresses and embroidered ponchos. The models also adorned accessories inspired by the Bohemian culture of Puglia like lacy pastoral head scarves, berry shaped gold jewellery, ankle boots and strappy flats. The collection is celebratory of the past traditions but is also regardful of the modern elements and comfort. The idea for the collection was to bring light to the dying heritage of the Puglian culture. The ancient intricate lace style of Tombolo was also used in one of the dresses which was made by Marilena Sparasci, one of the last craftspersons to know the technique.  

A major observation throughout the collection is that of the clothes being extremely comfortable. There were breezy dresses, pinafore coordinates, relaxed suits, flowy skirts and loose denims keeping in mind the comfort. 

The location for the show was a thoughtful decision of Maria Grazia Chiuri as this year with the Cruise Collection she went back to her Italian roots and chose a town she would often visit as a child. The whole show permeated the traditional vibe of the Puglia region and was an ode to the customs and traditions of the old region of Italy and was an attempt to uplift the craftspersons and women of the region putting them on the global fashion map.

The Collection 


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