The French label unveiled its Pre-Fall 2023 collection in front of a star-studded audience that included local and international royal guests, and our valued Art Contributor Shalini Passi, alongside Bollywood stars Rekha, Sonam Kapoor, and Anushka Sharma, as well as models Cara Delevingne and Maisie Williams, against the historic Gateway of India monument.
GROUPSHOT RTW FALL 2023 SHOW ©Dolly Haorambam. All images www.dior.com
Dior is strenghtens its bonds to India and Karishma Swali – Artistic Director of the Chanakya ateliers and the non-profit Chanakya School of Craft, in Mumbai. Through the silhouettes, the Creative Director of Dior women's lines celebrates the plurality of the most excellent savoir-faire, thus allowing the visionary spirit of the founding couturier and his successors to shine far and wide. A color block sequence dedicated to silks – green, yellow, pink, and purple – pays homage to Marc Bohan, with sophisticated evening coats and straight skirts inspired by the sari and traditional Indian cuts, representing an actual sartorial genealogy defined by the multiple legacies of fashion. A fascinating odyssey that transcends borders and eras.
Finding a new ingenious way of talking about feelings and emotions that can connect us with a country and its culture is precisely what Maria Grazia Chiuri wished to accomplish in this Dior Fall 2023 collection, with a view to explaining the collaboration, work relations and friendship linking her for many years to India and Karishma Swali, who directs the Chanakya ateliers and the Chanakya School of Craft, in Mumbai. A place of exchange, study, and emancipation for many women, a laboratory to explore different types of savoir-faire that the Creative Director of Dior women’s lines has long celebrated, highlighting thus the visionary spirit of the founding-couturier.The archives reveal Dior models created by Marc Bohan, the then Artistic Director, who traveled to India in April 1962,notably to Mumbai and Delhi, initiating conversation between France and India. For Marc Bohan, these presentations were significant events, heralding a new departure under his artistic direction: younger customers, and a more dynamic,contemporary approach to fashion and ready-to-wear.
Maria Grazia Chiuri has chosen color palettes and materials that crystalize key influences shared with Karishma Swali of Chanakya. The Creative Director of Dior women’s collections works on timeless clothing forms that have stayed intact through time, allowing her to (re)design her favorite models. A color block sequence dedicated to silks – in shades ofgreen, yellow, pink and purple –, in homage to Marc Bohan, is embodied by sophisticated evening coats, sari-inspiredstraight skirts and traditional Indian cuts, as well as pants, boleros, jackets and tops: a veritable sartorial genealogydefined by different heritages and fashion cultures.
The embroidery – both protagonist and search engine, opens up all the possibilities of this craft – and becomes a tool for appraising, through the relationship between Dior and the Chanakya ateliers and the Chanakya School of Craft, the multiple landscapes of India: this cartography mixes and spotlights the various techniques which, via the School’s work processes, become the realm of a woman’s legacy and an instrument at once of inventiveness and empowerment.Geometric shapes frame in gold the silver sequins and strass; bewitching decorative motifs come forth in this kaleidoscope of colors on the silk of pajamas, blouses and dresses. The revisited toile de Jouy stands out in a vaporous palette of green,much like a camouflage magnified by elements of Indian landscapes populated by talismanic animals dear to this plural civilization.
The collection, presented in Mumbai*, is the expression of a shared territory thanks to this project, which fully celebrates the collaboration between Dior and Chanakya. This creative dialogue perpetuates precious illustrations of exceptionalsavoir-faire, confirming the unfailing bond between France and India.
*With the support of Directorate of Tourism - Government of Maharashtra and to the Indian Authorities in Mumbai
Production & DirectionBureau BETAK
Art InstallationThe Toran, Chanakya Ateliers and Chanakya School of Craft Ateliers / Karishma SwaliOrchestre /OrchestraOliver Coates & musiciansPerformanceAnuradha Pal & musiciansMusique /MusicMichel GAUBERTSouliers /ShoesChristian DIORMaquillage /Make-upPeter PHILIPS for Dior /Hair Guido PALAUCastingMichelle LEE LightsPhilippe CERCEAUVidéo /VideoTender Night
A special thanks to the Directorate of Tourism - Government of Maharashtra and to the Indian Authorities in Mumbai / A special thanks to the ateliers and the suppliers of the House