At the heart of the Dior Spring-Summer 2022 show at the Musée Rodin in Paris were the kaarigars of India. A reinvented art gallery served as the space for the show where works of Madhvi and Manu Parekh were embroidered into wall tapestries by the virtuosos of the Chanakya School of Craft.
India’s art goes beyond the works of great artists, its presence can be felt everywhere from the rangolis that adorn each doorstep to the works of local craftsmen. Capturing this ideology is about Maria Grazia Chiuri’s presentation for the Dior Spring-Summer 2022 show. To explain and explore the relationship between art and craft, Chiuri entails the help of Indian contemporary artists Madhvi and Manu Parekh alongside Chanakya School of Craft. The large wall tapestries that adorn the walls are blown-up versions of Madhavi and Manu’s artworks that explore the male/female dichotomy in a harmonious manner. While Madhavi’s work engenders the imaginary world using folk art and tribal symbols, Manu’s explores spiritual abstractions and modernism.
What’s interesting about Maria Grazia Chiuri’s presentation for the Dior Spring-Summer 2022 show is the way she pays tribute to the country’s rich art and culture. There is no borrowing of silhouettes or prints, the ode is with a gallery of embroidered artworks that are as remarkable as those done in Dior’s French ateliers. To quote, And Just Like That, “it’s not cultural appropriation, but cultural appreciation.” Her creative association with Indian artisans is quietly reflected in this massive tribute to the Indian artisans. The installation stays open to the public until January 30, 2022, for art enthusiasts to truly observe and appreciate the work. After all, couture isn’t a play of a day but over 2,00,000 hours of love and labour put in by the Mumbai artisans.
The beautiful installation was created by 320 master artisans who worked for more than three months, embroidering 340 square metres (3,600 square feet) of work entirely by hand. The whole process truly is a confluence of the atelier, of the artist, and of the couturier. For this installation, Maria Grazia Ghuiri closely worked with Karishma Swali of the Chanakya School of Craft, alongside art historians and curators Maria Alicata and Paola Ugolini.
Back at the ateliers, Chiuri keeps the clothes deliberately simple and French. A palette of creams, ivory and black take form on iconic Dior silhouettes like the double-breasted Bar jackets, silk dresses and all-over embroidered ecru skirts with flowers. The focus is on handmade objects, embroideries and touches that define couture and craft.
All Images: Courtesy Dior.