Dior pays tribute to southern Italy with its Cruise 2021 Collection

After presenting its Autumn-Winter 2020-2021 collection in the form of a film https://bit.ly/2ZaZyom, French luxury brand Dior unveiled its much anticipated Cruise 2021 collection behind closed doors on July 22.

After months of preparation, the new collection was presented with a magnificent and unforgettable show held at the Piazza del Duomo in the historical Italian city of Lecce, Puglia with no live audience in attendance and in accordance with sanitary measures and social distancing guidelines.

Inspired by the natural beauty, history, culture, and crafts of the southern Italian region, the new collection is a mixture of updated classics and striking new silhouettes. Puglia has always held a special place in the heart of Dior's Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri who grew up in the region and was entranced by the embroideries and the textiles she watched her grandmother and uncle make. Chiuri was also inspired by the book Sud e Magia, which is dedicated to the region's traditions and was written in 1950 by the Italian anthropologist Ernesto De Martino.

This collection was an homage to that, and to the mysterious magic that courses through the area and its people, expressed in loving attention to detail that included hand-knotted fringe hems, soft fleecy outerwear, sun-bleached ticking stripes, and a rapturous embrace of the endless possibilities of lace.

The show featured a spectacular set made by local artisans which took 12 days to assemble with the jewel-colored traditional luminarie weighing a total of 60 tons and feature 30,000 colored LED bulbs. Composer Paolo Buonvino interpreted that typical Puglia music in his own way, in collaboration with the Notta della Taranta, a fund that keeps the rich music and dance history of this region alive.

The show opened with a vaporous gown embroidered all over with wheat motifs, forging a link with the millennia-old identity of the Puglia region and symbolizing the femininity that is at the heart of the House. Artist Pietro Ruffo who is one of Chiuri's frequent collaborators was inspired by illustrations from the book De Florum Cultura, published by Giovanna Battista Ferrari in 1638 and imagined a field studded with ears of wheat, evoking a summer landscape that offered a nod to Monsieur Dior's own passion for plants.

On display were long dresses, shirts and light shorts, shearling jackets, bohemian dresses, denim jumpsuits, romantic blouses and tie-dye, infused with 1970s accents and iconic Miss Dior dress embroidered with flowers. Also featured were timeless classics and accessories like the Book Tote, the Saddle Bag, and the Bobby bag.

'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 statement about her motivations in creating a collection.

All in all the new collection is a veritable love letter to Puglia, the perpetuation of savoir-faire, and an invitation to discover the region's culture and craft.

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