With the final countdown towards irreversible environmental destruction ticking away, the key word ‘sustainability’ seems to have finally appeared in the minds of the fashion industry, with brands from aspiring names to established houses alike setting goals to limit their negative environmental impact, whether by utlising sustainable fabrics or neutralising their carbon footprint when putting on runway shows.
At Paris Fashion Week, Dior became the latest maison to join the sustainability movement. Not only did the brand purchase 170 trees from plant nurseries for its SS20 fashion show scenography, and have them transplanted at various locations in Paris afterwards, reused and upcycled materials were also employed as part of the setting, including wooden planks, brackets and fabric. Even all the electricity produced by generators were powered by canola oil. This move suggests a serious connotation from Dior in its pledge to be environmentally responsible in the business of fashion.
Apart from the decor of the show venue, Dior’s effort to look into a more sustainable approach in its production has also inspired the brand explore the most primitive way to create fabrics for the collection itself. This season, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri took inspiration from the photographs of Catherine Dior — Monsieur Christian Dior’s sister — in which she appears amid her flowers in the her garden. Conceived as an ‘inclusive garden’, the scenography of the show is demonstrated as a travelling grove, from which the trees will continue thriving as part of the brand’s sustainability initiatives.
As for the glorious billowing silhouettes, the maison employs an interesting technique just as how Christian Dior luxuriantly transposed the nature he loved onto dresses — forever bearing witness to his passion for flowers, much in the matter of herbaria. Like an echo of the meticulous work of the petites mains in the Dior ateliers, herbaria reflects a virtuoso savoir-faire that requires patience and passion above all. First, each flower and plant must be carefully collected, then analysed, described, dried and cared for so they may be preserved like treasures.
These leaves are meticulously treated and used in various ways to create textures, imprints and even give colour to the fabrics chosen for the collection. Watch the video below to find out how the universe of herbarium — the blend of art and knowledge through plants — is reinterpreted into the silhouettes of Maria Grazia Chiuri.
This luminous tribute to vegetation in all its diversity, is driven by the love of gardens as how this new Dior collection evokes — through motifs and embroideries, brilliance and texture of raffia and the lush imaginary Mother Nature has to offer. The designers are presented in the style that are precious to preserving botanical species significant to the house of Dior. A series of dresses bathed in colour, from yellow to red, to romantic pieces in a slew of neutral shades, these are the creative director’s poetic message of environmental commitments highlighting that every small gesture counts in protecting and cultivating the beauty of the earth.
Curious to find out how these foraged leaves are translated into fashion pieces? Here are the key looks for Dior Spring/Summer 2020 collection fresh from Paris Fashion Week.