It has been 75 years since the house of Dior was founded by fashion royalty Christian Dior and opened its doors in 1946. In honour of Dior’s history, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri has designed its SS21 Haute Couture collection which has become a space for pure fantasy in the very realist world we currently live in.
Tarot cards are the key source of inspiration for this mystic collection, specifically an ancient deck from the 15th century coined the ‘Visconti-Sforza deck’ which was once owned by the Duke of Milan and has since been studied meticulously by Chiuri. A fascination of tarot and all things mystical is both shared by Chiuri and Dior’s founding father, who was known for seeking advice from trusted clairvoyants throughout his life.
In the area of fashion film, Chiuri has teamed up with director Matteo Garrone for a second collaboration to produce a ten-minute film known as ‘Le Château du Tarot’ which depicts a young and sceptical girl seeking out wisdom from an elderly tarot reader. The following scenes follow the nameless beauty through rooms of a grand gothic castle, with each doorway greeting her with a tarot card come to life in the form of models draped in the fine fabrics of Dior.
Fashion photographer for the campaign, Elina Kechichevna pictured the Baroque style of Chiuri’s creations perfectly with portraits of each of the 45 looks evoking a scene of nothing less than medieval royalty; with regal gold-hued backgrounds, touches of dusty rays of light and features of a snow-white horse fit for fairy tales.
The looks personified each of the key figures found in tarot, such as the card of temperance, justice and the fool. The ranges of garments were made from embroidered silk and velvet princess gowns with majestic embroideries of flora to hand-painted motifs of the zodiac and tarot imagery, which was informed by the illustrative work of Pietro Ruffo. Other looks played on the androgynous beauty of Dior’s history with midnight black velvet suit trousers and bar jacket, as well as tailored high-waisted palazzo trousers, with pleated bodices and organza bellow sleeves in tints of dust greys, pinks and creams.
Chiuri told WWD “We worked with so many different techniques, that are so luxurious, that it can come across as really cinematic,”. An array of artisan methods and techniques were used throughout the collection, some which may be discreet to the untrained eye, but exquisite none the less, as an ode to Parisian workshops who are fighting to survive in this fast-fashion world.
Words by Sophia Zenonos, Graphics by Victoria Zhao