The House of Dior continues its world tour. After Egypt and India, Maria Grazia Chiuri unveiled the new cruise collection in Mexico, which pays tribute to Frida Kahlo. Between craftsmanship, couture and know-how, discover this fashion show, a real spectacle.
Last week, the imminent Dior fashion show attracted curiosity in the Mexican capital: where would it take place? What will be the new pieces? And it is finally at the Colegio de San ILdefonso that the House has taken up residence. This place, Maria Grazia Chiuri did not choose it at random. Indeed, this former school, dating from the sixteenth century, is home to the beginning of one of the most famous love stories of the twentieth century, that of Frida Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera.
Fascinated by this strong, feminist woman, the artistic director of the French fashion house chose to pay homage to her, after admiring the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Palais Galliera last fall. It all started there, when she discovered the wardrobe of the Mexican artist. According to Maria Grazia Chiuri, Frida Kahlo is “the most important female artist in the world“.
So it was only natural that Dior’s artistic director chose Mexico as her source of inspiration and meeting place to unveil the latest Dior collection.
A traditional and majestic fashion show
It was under a driving rain that the first models advanced in the corridors of this old colonial building. Initially, the catwalk was supposed to be in the open air, in the middle of the building’s patio, but since we can’t control the weather, we had to find a last minute solution.
The first models grazed the catwalk, under the intense and resounding voice of the Mexican artist Vivir Quintana. With braided hair and imposing eyebrows, they look like modern-day Frida Kahlo.
For this collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by the dressing room of the Mexican painter, including the codes of androgyny, represented by three-piece suits, embellished with a bow tie. At the age of 19, Frida Kahlo dared everything, breaking the gender boundary and militating for her independence.
In addition to the in-between genres, there are also beautiful dresses, made of embroidery, velvet or tulle. The long pleated skirts, here black and white, accompanied by corsets, boleros, or large shirts, also make their return.
White and black dominate the show at first, until the arrival of this magenta pink long dress, pleated and tied at the waist, which also refers to the artist.
Some colors, such as red and green, reminiscent of Mexico, then appear on the creations, through embroidery and small details. This is the case for this magnificent light dress, with its ornamented bustier, typical of the Mexican culture, or for this white and green suit, a perfect mix between French spirit and Mexican know-how.
As in India, Maria Grazia Chiuri chose to collaborate with local artisans such as embroiderers, weavers or jewelry designers, to perfect her collection, while bringing a fresh eye and exceptional know-how.
In a press release issued before the show, the designer says a little more about this: “We must not only protect the craft but also have a vision of the future, because we take the risk of not having a new generation interested. What we are doing with Dior, since 2016: we are supporting artisans, through education, through school, where people can understand the value of having such skills.”
The butterfly, another star of the fashion show
In addition to Frida Kahlo, another strong symbol came to rest on all the outfits of the cruise show: the butterfly. These insects of unparalleled beauty, dear to the Mexican artist, came to life on the silhouettes of the models, in the form of jewelry, embroidery or belts. These small flying creatures represent freedom, joy and creativity and appear in some of the paintings of the artist who could no longer move at the end of her life.
The Mexican market, a major asset for luxury
Mexico, with a population of more than 130 million, is not the first country that comes to mind when we think of luxury. But it is. For years, it has been an attractive market for its economic stability and openness to foreign trade. Its 16 million inhabitants are part of the middle and wealthy class and are a powerful growth driver. Consumption patterns have also evolved with the covid. Nowadays, wealthy Mexicans no longer travel to consume, they do it directly on site. Mexico has become the leader in luxury goods purchases in Latin America and ranks 10th in the world.
Also among the top 20 world powers, Mexico is becoming more than ever a market opportunity for luxury goods, and the fashion houses have understood this.
Featured photo : ©Dior