© Raphael Dautigny
Dior presented its 2020 Cruise collection in the magical setting of the El Badi Palace in Morocco. Designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior Artistic Director for women’s collections, the collection proposed a dialogue between the Dior wardrobe and African fashion.
As the sun set on the vibrant city of Marrakesh, firelight illuminated the walls of the grandiose El Badi Palace as traditional Moroccan ceramics and fabrics set the stage for the Dior 2020 Cruise show. The venue was rich in meaning. Long a meeting place for imagined realms of Europe and Africa, Marrakech also evokes the first successor to Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent.
Like her predecessor, Maria Grazia Chiuri has long been inspired and fascinated with the richness of African cultures. She centered the collection around Wax, a fabric emblematic of the entire continent. A unifying symbol of multifaceted fashion, the prints came in a multitude of motifs and colors. For this Cruise collection a special edition of Wax integrated Dior codes into the weave of the fabric. New versions of the Maison’s celebrated toile de Jouy were revisited in Wax, tarot motifs were reinvented, and the iconic Bar suit underlined the power of a print as a universal fashion language.
To highlight the rich complexity and meticulous craft that go into the fabric, Maria Grazia Chiuri teamed with Uniwax – one of the few remaining manufacturers of the fabric using traditional methods, actively supporting African fashion. She collaborated as well with African designer Pathé Ouédraogo, known as Pathé’O, who contributed a shirt designed exclusively for the show in tribute to Nelson Mandela. Grace Wales Bonner, winner of the 2016 LVMH Prize, and African-American painter Mickalene Thomas also contributed their visions to the collection, a celebration of cultural plurality.