A constellation of places that spark emotions – this is what Mexico is to Maria Grazia Chiuri. A “place of the soul,” just as it was for surrealist artists, from Leonora Carrington to Remedios Varo, and for Tina Modotti who, through her photographs, captured the landscapes and people of Mexico.
The emblematic figure of Frida Kahlo continues to offer a powerful connection to this culture, celebrated at the heart of the Dior cruise 2024 collection. The Mexican artist transcended her body through her clothes, which became representation, proclamation, protest, and affirmation. Like a precious jewel case for a broken body, a cocoon-case concealing a butterfly meta-morphed into a motif unfolding in multiple shades and forms, through a series of prints. Moths also come to life on the silhouettes, based on a sketch by Andrée Brossin de Méré from the Dior archives.
Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by photographs of Frida Kahlo bending the rules of gender boundaries. From the age of nineteen, Frida wore a men’s three-piece suit, transgressing her femininity to claim an independence above all intellectual. Suits thus pay tribute to her style while, in counterpoint, echoing the Tehuana custom, full skirts are worn with a traditional tunic: the huipil. For this new line, unveiled in Mexico City, Maria Grazia Chiuri has once again forged strong ties with local artisans who have excelled. Their expertise shines with original embroideries, co-creations crafted with their ateliers, adorning notably dresses and shirts.
A pink dress reminiscent of the one worn by Frida Kahlo in one of her self-portraits is featured. The captivating beauty of fragility is further enhanced by the variety of cotton, hemp and silk lace selected, by the meticulous designs of the collars sublimating the jersey and black velvet, and by the butterfly-like jacquards. Velvet is revisited in a mesmerizing palette of colors on skirts that, thanks to their pleats, emphasize the hips before opening into corollas. Butterflies also populate the toile de Jouy, illustrating Mexican flora and fauna alongside parrots, monkeys and strelitzias that also illuminate the paintings of Frida Kahlo.
The personal dimension that guided Maria Grazia Chiuri is reflected in the choice of venue for the show: the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, where the iconic Mexican painter studied. A symbolic location, where she met Diego Rivera, the mentor, the love of a lifetime. In this privileged location, a performance by Mexican feminist artist Elina Chauvet will take place. Mexico, a country of the heart, expresses – through the emotional modulations and chromatic vivacity of this cruise line – a femininity that is constructed by a relationship with the natural environment, in a balance of engagement and light-heartedness.