“The art of weaving is a form of art we absolutely cannot afford to lose,” says Cristina Rizzo, president of the Costantine Foundation. The Foundation, which promotes and dynamises the Puglia region by preserving its living heritage through the teaching of traditional crafts like loom weaving, was one of 13 local Apulian artisans spotlighted for Dior Cruise 2021.
This was both the start and end point for Maria Grazia Chiuri: the local artists and artisans of the Puglia region, emblems of its rich history cast through the lens of Dior. Staged in the historic city of Lecce, a sensory spectacle unfolded which celebrated the magical beauty of arts and craft. Held behind closed doors, it was illuminated by Marinella Senatore’s Luminarie and set to the rhythms of a cathartic dance by the La Notte della Taranta Foundation, choreographed by Sharon Eyal. The erudite music of Paolo Buonvino played as these priceless rites were cast anew, Dior giving both a voice and a stage to centuries-old tradition and skill.
The delicate bi-colour weaves of the Costantine Foundation were articulated on various pieces throughout the collection, while the atelier’s motto – “Amando e Cantando” or “Loving and Singing” – was embroidered on a series of skirts, echoing the spirit of the Foundation.
Traditional Dior silhouettes bore the emblems of these workshops, too. Christian Dior’s iconic Miss Dior dress from 1949 was reimagined by local artist Pietro Ruffo; a field with a constellation of wheat sheaves evoking a summer landscape. This narrative of nature – blissfully wild and free – was a common one, transposed onto shirts and shorts, the collection paying homage to nature and the region’s unique landscape. Dresses bloomed with flowers and butterflies that adorned the Tombolo – a precious, extremely delicate style of lace created in Italy in the 15th century – today preserved by Marilena Sparasci, one of the last remaining embroiderers to practice and teach the technique.
From the art of weave to the power of dance, the House of Dior magnified this pluralistic and infinitely precious culture through these collaborations, which in fact began long before the health crisis and subsequent confinement. The House was intent on honouring these creative dialogues between Paris and Lecce, pandemic or not.
A sensory pastiche of the priceless, ancestral savoir-faire of Puglia, Dior Cruise 2021 was as much about reinvention as it was history, keeping the tradition of Apulian art, design and music alive, so that the beauty of their gestures, emotion and poetry may endure. A place close to Maria Grazia Chiuri’s heart; this was her tribute, and what a tribute it was.
view the dior cruise 2021 collection below: