The Cruise season is always filled with extravagantly staged, remarkably beautiful shows. Tonight Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior delivered on that brief in droves, with a sprawling Greek Odyssey staged in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. The show began with a stirring performance by Ioanna Gika, accompanied by a full orchestra, before models took to the Stadium tracks, first built as a racecourse in 330 B.C.
The collection took the core tenets of Dior’s DNA and blended them with nods to Greek culture and history. Chiuri took inspiration from the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and the ruins of Knossos and their influence was clearly seen on white cotton Toga dresses and billowing chiffon Hellenic gowns. Elsewhere, T-shirts and sportswear separates were printed with Aegean art motifs, while the Greek tailor Aristeidis Tzonevraki was tapped by the house to recreate Dior’s staple pieces, like the Book Tote and Bar Jacket.
Chiuri was inspired to stage the Cruise show in Greece after last year’s lockdown gave her a renewed appreciation for the importance of sports, exercise, and physical health. “Sport is movement, sport is freedom. During lockdown, you would walk around your building just to get a sense of moving your body. That became our idea of freedom,” she said in a post-show interview. As a result, models wore billowing pleated gowns with chunky white sneakers, slouchy silk tracksuit bottoms, Dior-branded tennis socks, and sporty leather holdalls.
Collection highlights included nods to the German icon of stage and screen Marlene Dietrich (courtesy of a perfectly tailored white suit), and the queen of alternative ’90s electro-pop Björk, with the closing look featuring an update on the infamous ‘Swan’ dress the latter wore the 2001 Oscars. The event was staged to a limited number of socially distanced attendees (among them Anya Taylor-Joy and Cara Delevingne), and finished with a second performance by Gika, accompanied by a luminescent fireworks display. You could practically feel the warm Athenian summer breeze through the screen—the perfect reminder of all we have to look forward to.