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Maria Grazia Chiuri: The mastermind behind Dior
Maria Grazia Chiuri: The mastermind behind Dior

She is one of the most influential women in the entire fashion industry, and Dior is a mega-success under her leadership. The secret of their cult looks: Discipline, research and a return to the roots.

dior, maria grazia chiuri, creativ director, designer, luxury
dior, maria grazia chiuri, creativ director, designer, luxury

In the duo with Pierpaolo Piccioli, she helped Valentino make a mega comeback, but it was only her position as creative director at Dior that made Maria Grazia Chiuri one of them most influential women in the fashion world.

After a year and a half of canceled, postponed or virtual catwalk shows, the designers are now pulling out all the stops to show their latest designs. This also includes Maria Grazia Chiuri, who as her Dior Cruise looks spectacular event in Athens staged: "I wanted to make a collection for women today," the fashion designer told Vogue. The outfits are all designed for life in the post-pandemic. "Women want freedom, especially after this long period of lockdowns. That's what we want: to move our bodies."

The first peplos cuts were typically Greek: traditionally belted dresses, tops with asymmetrical necklines, models with pleated pleats attached to the remember Greek antiquityand pay homage to the designs by designer Madame Grès from the 1940s. There are also drawings of Greek warriors or antique vases, which in abstract form ran through the looks as embroidery. Still, they are sporting references, that characterize this Dior collection: drawstrings, sports jackets and high-tech materials.

Even the traditional bar jacket got a new, sporty material and was implemented without a lining. Light silhouettes and body-hugging pieces like leggings could also be seen. Chiuri lets all these elements meet works by the artists Giorgio de Chirico and Pietro Ruffo. The latter was also responsible for some of the prints in the collection. And the artist Christiana Soulou painted seven female characters from Greek mythology, which Chiuri immortalized in jacquards in the folds of her clothes.

The craft

In general, the 57-year-old is lying the art and also the craftat heart. That is why the Italian works time and again with local creatives and artisans as part of the cruise shows that have already been shown, for example, in Marrakech or California took place together. For the Athens parade, the fishing hats were made by Atelier Tsalavoutas, who are still the supplier of the real fishermen from Hydra. And the local designer Aristeidis Tzonevraki from the Zeus & Dione label designed a very special version of the "Book Tote" as well as the one just mentioned Reinterpretation of the ultimate Dior classic, the bar jacket that he refined. Many of the fabrics were also from Silk Line - Ath. Mouhtaridis S. A., a manufacturer from Soufli, who is known for its exquisite silks.

Meticulous worker

Chiuri was about rediscovering the roots of civilization, she explained after the show. Her approach: the importance of sport and exercise for people and how fashion should accompany us in life. The trade press then came up with praise for the staging, concept and collection. But the Italian successis no coincidence, she is considered one of the most disciplined creatives, studies the archives and the legacy of the brands she works for - and also knows how to adapt this to the current zeitgeist.

"It's about keeping the code of a house, but transforming it into the new era."

After working at Fendi, she and designer Pierpaolo Piccioli revitalized the traditional Italian company Valentino - and celebrated great success with him for 17 years. Especially with their "Rockstud" accessories with gold rivets, they made for years one of the biggest hype in terms of luxury bags and shoes.

But it shouldn't be until Dior alone at the top of a global brand stand - and that as the first woman in the history of the house. Chiuri followed the maison's call to Paris' Avenue Montaigne in 2016. In an interview with Stern's fashion supplement, she described her vision for Dior as follows: "It's about being able to Retains code of the house, but transformed into the new era. "Iconic designs by founder Christian Dior are still present - but with the Chiuri point of view.

"Women work, women travel, women have their own lives," says the Italian, who is consistently dressed in black or navy. As a designer today, you have to respond to these needs. "In the past, luxury brands were about launching products that were more of a show-off. Now, especially for couture houses like Dior, it's important to understand that Luxury has become more individualis. Luxury no longer means showing off your clothes, "says the perfectionist.


The secret of their success is constancy, the inspirations are clear and coherent, all collections are so well thought out that they fit together Evolve from season to season. And the designer knows the importance of strong female role models and feminist messages, which of course she knows how to stage through the media. Just think of the t-shirt "We should all be feminists" that she sent over the catwalk in 2018 and that to one of the most photographed and most sought after (as well as the most copied!) designer parts in the world.

"I was called by Dior at a certain moment in my life, in which I - through a series of works, especially that of the author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and also through conversations with my daughter Rachele (one of her most important muses, note). - the Complexity of being a womanbecame aware. But also the beauty of being one, "she told Vogue.

dior, maria grazia chiuri, daugther, kid, child
dior, maria grazia chiuri, daugther, kid, child

And further: "I thought that running a fashion house like Dior would give me the opportunity to work for other women and them Idea of femininity to unite with that of feminism. But for me, femininity is not a topic that is only developed in the collections. It is the way of looking at our time and to reflect, it is a guideline in my work for women, it is a way of giving artists, studios and activists more visibility."

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