Christian Dior was highly superstitious and consulted his clairvoyant on all major decisions, touching wood and searching for lucky stars, a fact which current house creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri used as a jumping-off point in creating Christian Dior’s Spring/Summer 2021 Haute Couture collection.
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‘’He discovered tarot in the Second World War, when his sister Catherine, who was part of the French Resistance, disappeared’’, Chiuri explained. ‘’In my view, I think he was so scared about her situation that he probably went to the tarot cards to try to know some more, to hope that she would come back. I think he was very worried; trying to find hope in some signs’’.
The tarot is something that Chiuri has turned to, repeatedly, to inspire her work at Dior – but it feels specifically relevant today. ‘’In this moment, when we are very lost in our personal life, this idea – this magic – can help us to have hope for the future’’, she said.
Her Spring/Summer 2021 Haute Couture collection was inspired by the divinatory arts, in particular a tarot deck made by Bonifacio Bembo around 1400 for the Duke of Milan, which informed the palette of dusty jewel tones and old gold.
Its rich gilded palette loaned itself to a collection packed with ultra-luxe fabrics – lace, jacquard, velvet, chiffon and silk toile, to name a few – in lush colors, creating a tapestry worthy of its Renaissance inspiration. The shapes, too, carry the feel of historic nobility.
In this spirit, Chiuri created a singular deck of cards in which characters disclose the graphic energy of the symbols. Dior gray appears in tweed, cashmere and organza on shirts, skirts, pants and capes. Meanwhile, the Bar jacket is revisited in black velvet, its curves reinterpreted to express a new attitude.
For this collection, Chiuri reunited with Italian director Matteo Garrone on a sumptuous short film, ‘’Le Château du Tarot’’, the tale of a young woman who goes on a journey of self-discovery and encounters a series of symbolic figures in a mysterious castle.
It looked like an Old Masters painting come to life, with the outfits to match.
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