From Valentino's suspended realities to Balmain’s boat show, the past couple of weeks have given us a taste of the future of fashion. However, the Dior’s Cruise 2021 presentation gave its audience a good dose of fashion catharsis as it stuck to the traditional runway.
In fashion's latest sign of determination to return to normality, Dior displayed its collection with no shortage of production value: models walked through the grounds of the beautiful Lecce’s cathedral, last Wednesday, in Puglia, Italy, in a united 15 minutes of escapism. The backdrop was a theatrical stage with carnival-esque lights accompanied by traditional orchestra and local tarantella dancers, the show brimming with artisan technique.
The clothes themselves were beautiful, with a folkloric quality. The 90-look collection included an eclectic mix of pinafore dresses, blanket-fringe skirts, and hand-knit sweaters, whilst the models wore kerchiefs in their hair, flat boots on their feet and leather corsets. The collection erased the distinctions between the humble and the haute.
The sparkling set, by artist Marinella Senatore, was inspired by the local luminarie tradition of illuminations, with neon motivational phrases, including “We rise by lifting others” and other powerful assertions, embedded within twinkling coloured lights.
However, social distancing measures were in place through out the show with the models walking 2 metres apart and the orchestra appearing fully masked. Aside from the models, Dior’s extensive teams, and a smattering of clients, it was locals who gathered to watch the show in the front row and on the balconies beyond the square.
The show was made due to Maria Grazia Chiuri's wish to connect the past to the present, while honouring the region of Puglia.
“During this period, I sought to give collective efforts a new dimension. Despite the disadvantages of distance, bringing a different perspective to our daily lives has given us strength and imagination,” Chiuri said in a press release.
The city was grateful for being centred in the conversation, with locals praising Dior in an Instagram post for highlighting their hometown's ancestry.
By Natalie Reppas