Three things you didn’t know about Dior’s 2020 Cruise Collection

On Monday evening, Maria Grazia Chiuri presented her Cruise 2020 collection for Christian Dior in Marrakech. When Maria Grazia Chiuri took her seat as creative director at Dior in 2017, the very first woman to do so, she cast a spell over the house. She would bring a new wave of modernity and feminism to the heritage-rich brand that has, for the last 71 years, encapsulated style and grace with the utmost elegant demeanour. Maria has the Midas touch when it comes to the female point of view.

The location

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Staged around the palaces of Marrakech, Monday’s show took place after sundown in the Palais El Badi (which aptly translates to ‘Palace of the incomparable’). The 16th Century palace, whose terracotta ruins paved the route, was aglow from the hundreds of floating candles and an assemblage of bonfires in the courtyard’s expansive pool. A polychromatic colour palette provided the perfect backdrop for Grazia Chiuri’s designs that playfully reconstructed the eccentricity of 20th Century surrealism into modern, wearable art. Chiuri’s vision to create a message of cultural exchange was only intensified by this considered collection.

The House collaborated with several African artists

The theme of the night was "common ground", a celebration of togetherness, or as Vogue’s Anders Christian Madsen put it, “a cultural exchange between the codes of Dior and the African craftsmanship she has always admired”. The House acquired several African artists from different African cultures and facilitated a space to allow creative dialogue to flourish. "With this collection”, Dior said in a press release, “ she sought to dialogue with the real and imagined landscape of Morocco, at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Europe and Africa, as a dream destination for artists, poets, writers and eternal adventurers”.

Sumano, a social project reviving traditional women's artisanship, was just one group who worked with Dior to celebrate and proliferate the traditional women’s crafts of Moroccan tribes. Sumano consulted on show’s scenography. French anthropologist Anne Grosfilley served as a guide throughout the creation of the collection.

Focusing on wax fabric, Chiuri worked with the artisans to weave the very fabric of the garments. Each piece was woven into a new landscape or exotic motif, executed with modern finishes. The pieces are incredibly impressive and the overall looks are effortlessly elegant (by effortless, I mean each model went through a rigamarole of hair and makeup for hours before-hand).

Diana Ross for Dior

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Mega star Ross performed to a crowd of celebrities (like Lupita Nyong'o (below), Jessica Alba and Karlie Kloss), fashion editors and journalists wearing a dramatic and stunning, floor-length, sequinned gown. Ross arrived in a signature black tulle gown and larger-than-life hair and oversized sunglasses, before changing into the epic Chiuri-made disco frock for a money-can’t-buy performance against the backdrop of the Palais El Badi.

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Niamh O'Donoghue