Dior Cruise 2021 Collection

Released via a phygital show staged in the historic city of Lecce, Italy.

In a season full of virtual presentations, performances and collection previews, Christian Dior is taking steps to bring some sense of normalcy back to the fashion calendar. After releasing its menswear and haute couture collections online, the brand has decided to stage a closed-door show broadcast online from Lecce, Italy. Staged at the Piazza del Duomo in the historic city in Italy’s Puglia region, the event comes with a little bit of a delay — the collection was originally slated to hit the runway on May 27 but got put off to a later date due to coronavirus concerns and mandates by the government to quarantine.

For Christian Dior’s womenswear creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, this collection is one of her most personal projects to date. “This project is very close to my heart because my father was born in Puglia. And in some way I want to dedicate this show to him because he taught me to believe in myself, also in difficult times, and to believe in the future,” she said in her interview with WWD.

The show itself paid homage more to the artistic director’s Italian roots than to the house of Dior’s own French heritage. One of the show’s centerpieces was the architectural Luminarie installation created by Fratelli Parisi, a company that is responsible for creating bright, intricate bulb designs to be used in local celebrations. In this collection, Chiuri celebrates the memory, values, culture, and future of exceptional craftsmanship in an experimental expression of savoir-faire.

“During this period, I sought to give collective efforts a new dimension,” Chiuri explains. “Despite the disadvantages of distance, bringing a different perspective to our daily lives has given us strength and imagination.”

The models marched down the piazza in long and light cotton dresses, blanket-fringe skirts, hand-knit sweaters, and sleek leather corsets; on their feet — flat boots and leather sandals. Many looks were complete with kerchiefs and gold-plated headbands, giving the entire collection a very 90’s-esque vibe. This collection is an example of collective intelligence combined with the extraordinary power of rhythms and rituals, music and dance, encouraging viewers to transcend themselves through the magic that is Dior.

To further amplify the impact and message of this Cruise collection, Chiuri collaborated with Italian contemporary Pietro Ruffo. Check out the V exclusive video shared by the house of Dior below:

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