At its essence couture is about fantasy, and today Dior delivered otherworldliness in bounds with the fashion film it released to debut its spring/ summer 2021 haute couture collection.
Partnering once again with Italian film director Matteo Garrone, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s latest collection was inspired tarot cards; a nod to Christian Dior who was highly superstitious and consulted his clairvoyant on all major decisions.
Entitled ‘Le Château du Tarot’ the film, which was shot in the 17th century Tuscan castle of Sammezzano, opens with a fortuneteller inviting a curious yet sceptical young girl to pick a card. She then embarks on a journey of self-discovery through the labyrinthine corridors of a mysterious castle where she encounters some of the Tarot deck’s lead characters: Temperance, the High Priestess, Justice and the Fool.
Chiuri and Garrone took their inspiration from a 15th century tarot deck that once belonged to the Duke of Milan, and the gold, enamel, and interlaced geometry and flora that decorates the ancient cards was echoed throughout the clothes.
Balancing the masculine and feminine were Grecian gold lame jacquard gowns, Regency necklines and giant pearl-encrusted headbands and matching earrings worthy of a Bridgerton ball on one side, while on the other came high-wasted jacquard cigarette pants paired with floral appliqué breastplates and diaphanous organza sleeves.
Illustrations by Italian artist Pietro Ruffo were worked into several designs and celestial motifs were seen on a golden velvet dévoré dress embroidered with zodiac signs and a jacquard cape sprinkled with stars.
This was no straightforward happy ever after though, as attested to by ballgowns embroidered with giant skull and cross bones, an androgynous reworking of the Bar jacket in black velvet and dress coats crawling with scorpions.
While quietly stormy, the collection suggested that a return to event dressing might, eventually, be on the cards for the Dior couture client – not least via a flowing midnight blue ruffle-sleeved lamé gown with matching veil.
“I know that everybody’s obsessed with this crisis to be simple, to be more basic and functional,” Maria Grazia Chiuri told WWD. “But couture is about uniqueness, craftsmanship and tradition, and if we don’t do that in couture, I think it’s really sad for the future of these traditions, because the risk is that we lose them.”