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Paris | Dior honors the landscapes of a Ukrainian artist

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(Paris) Stay positive: Dior celebrated Monday in Paris the return to life with haute couture dresses presented in a staging imagined by a Ukrainian artist evoking landscapes of his country, covered with embroidery with traditional motifs.

Natural colors, matte materials, sophisticated embroideries and lace patchwork: Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of Dior’s women’s collections, highlighted sobriety and refinement, celebrating the artisanal gesture in this collection that she wants “anti-bling bling”.

A long deceptively simple pleated greige dress with smocking (re-embroidered gathers on the right side of the fabric) which took two months to make is the quintessence of this collection: “the more work, the more invisible it is” .

The mindset that guided this collection “is complex: COVID-19 is not over yet, there is a war in Europe. I am sensitive to everything that happens to us,” the Italian designer told AFP.

The tree of Life


PHOTO CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of Dior’s women’s collections, invited Olesia Trofymenko, a 39-year-old Ukrainian artist, to create the decor for the show at the Rodin Museum.

“It’s essential to stay positive. Through difficulty, we are reborn,” she underlines, recalling that Christian Dior set up his house in 1947 after the Second World War.

She invited to create the decor for the parade at the Rodin Museum Olesia Trofymenko, a 39-year-old Ukrainian artist, whose works she saw at an exhibition in Rome, after the start of the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

“I was struck by his images through which we perceive despite the war the desire to be reborn”, she underlines.

Maria Grazia Chiuri wanted something “vital”, recalls Olesia Trofymenko, interviewed by AFP before the parade against the backdrop of one of giant colorful embroidered panels, made from a photo of the courtyard of the house where she took shelter during the war.

“My first reaction was ‘but do they know what’s going on?’ But in the end, it’s okay to show the beauty of Ukrainian culture in the face of images of the horrors” of war, she believes.

For the artist, “it’s unreal” to see his works decorate one of the most important fashion shows of haute couture week. “It’s when I return to Kyiv that I will understand the magnitude of the event”.

The tree of life, one of her favorite motifs and symbol of celebration of life and renewal in several cultures, including Celtic and Indian, animates the entire collection, reproduced on dresses and coats.

The four walls of the pavilion where the parade took place are covered with alternating embroidered motifs and photomontages.

Profusion of embroidery


PHOTO CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Natural colors, matte materials, sophisticated embroidery and lace patchwork: Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of Dior’s women’s collections, highlighted sobriety and refinement.

The photos of different places in Ukraine taken by Olesia Trofymenko are embroidered with flower crowns by the Chanakya workshop in Bombay, a fourth collaboration with Dior from this Indian school which trains embroiderers in a country where this craft is traditionally reserved for men.

On clothes, embroidery, which for Maria Grazia Chiuri embodies the creative gesture and transmission is omnipresent, with cotton, silk, rope or raffia threads.

The Ukrainian embroidered shirt is not directly mentioned, but evoked indirectly in shirt patterns and constructions of silhouettes, some of which recall these folk garments.

The dresses sport patchworks of lace braids, up to 22 types encrusted one inside the other.

Silk chiffon dresses, long and light, hug the body in a play of smocks.

Dior’s New Look hourglass silhouette is revisited with new couture techniques such as reverse pleats in tweed to create volume on the hips or gathers on an organza skirt. The jacket-bar is adorned with a vertically smocked fabric.

These haute couture pieces require hours of work by hand, almost invisible to the non-expert eye.



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