Maximum City, Mumbai, will be the next backdrop for Dior’s pre-fall 2023 show, and the timing couldn’t be more right. Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director of Dior, has maintained a longstanding relationship with the country, working closely for years with the Chanakya School of Craft on embroideries for its craft-centric collections, and the scenography of its shows.
A non-profit founded by Monica Shah and Karishma Swali in 2017, The Chanakya School of Craft empowers female artisans and preserves the crafts that are part of India’s cultural heritage. The creative force behind Dior womenswear, and a veritable feminist, Grazia Chiuri has worked with the non-profit time and again to bring to life artworks by other feminist legends.
For one particular outing, Judy Chicago’s artworks were embroidered with panels emblazoned with feminist slogans by the women of Chanakya. At another show, Eva Jospin’s art was turned into hand embroidered tapestries to bring to life her reflections on Virginia Woolfe’s writings in A Room Of One’s Own. Most recently, the School worked on bringing their 3D hand embroideries to artist couple Manu and Madhvi Parekh’s artworks that featured as wall hangings at a couture show last year.
A show in the country that has often found square-inch space in the creative’s shows serves as an extension of her inextricable relationship with India. In an announcement interview with Business of Fashion earlier this morning, Grazia Chiuri went on the record to say, “Fashion is much more than 10 minutes on the runway. It’s all the people that work together at this incredible project. I am doing this show for the love of this country, and how much they support my creativity. It is really something very personal.”
The designer took to Instagram to write a post this morning, confirming her India show: “I personally wanted to celebrate and showcase the incredible knowledge India offers to the international world of fashion in the field of embroidery, the mastery of the artisans who continue to work on this craft, and the commitment of Chanakya’s founders to preserving India’s history and culture, portrayed by each embroidery technique.”
Increasingly, India is now becoming the place where most luxury brands are looking to expand their footprint. On the agenda, apart from the much-awaited show by Dior? The launch of a fashion exhibition curated by Hamish Bowles on ‘India in Fashion’ at the newly opening Neeta and Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC), new luxury store launches including Burberry and Louis Vuitton, and an onslaught of Indian faces and representation on international runways, evident this season at Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Chanel, among others.
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