Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Designs Generate Disruption at the House of Dior.

Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Designs Generate Disruption at the House of Dior.

Maria Grazia Chiuri was born on February the 2nd 1964, in Rome, Italy. She is now recognized as an important Italian fashion designer.

She was born into a humble family with the luck of being supported by her grandmother, mother, and sisters; that is the reason why she considers them her great inspiration.

This great fashion designer spent seventeen years at Valentino before being named creative director at Dior, where she is now. That was a shocking event, because she became the first woman, in 69 years, to lead the creative side of Dior.

Maria Grazia Chiuri has made history by breaking 69 years of male hegemony in the legendary house of Dior. Since she took the reins as creative director of the label in 2016, each collection from the understated Italian is a tribute to femininity as a way to subvert outmoded norms and rise to the toughest challenges. She has often been inspired by feminism for the clothes she has created for Dior. For example, quotes from Carla Lonzi’s manifesto, an art critic and feminist Italian activist, are displayed during the presentation of the 1970s-inspired collection, such as “The patriarchy kills love” or “We are all clitoridian women”.

In addition, during a very stylized Dior fashion show, staged in the garden of the Rodin Museum, the catwalk was lined with 21 banners, on which were embroidered feminist phrases, such as “Could men and women be equal?”. And also, the slogan “We should all be feminist,” a cult phrase uttered by Nigerian author and feminist icon Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,  was printed on white t-shirts at a Dior show at Paris Fashion Week.

Maria Grazia Chiuri has also been decorated with the insignia of  “Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor”, due to the values and the feminist message she wants to communicate through her collections and also for her collaborations with female artists.

This awesome women figure, in her opposed vision, regarding women, for Christian Dior affirms: “Dressing women in a way that does not allow them to move and travel is a kind of tomb”, this meant the transformation of Dior into a vitally important statement about inclusivity, tolerance and above all cultural curiosity.

This recognition of her through her designs came from the parade held in Marrakech, Morocco, an event in which everything was organized creating the environment for what would be quite a bold fashion statement, taking into account what feminine fashion could come to mean with its fragmentation of standards; and, likewise, dramatic in Marrakech, this being a great personal triumph for the designer.

On the other hand, in an interview with Fashion Network, they asked her why is it that important for her to be part of the “feminist path” with Christian Dior, to which she answered:

I think when you talk about women, you talk about them all over the world. […] So it’s a conversation you have with other women about crafts and haute couture in a different way. Fashion is no longer just about clothes. It is something very different. […] You reach a huge audience and generation, so today’s hot new storylines are about gender, cultural appropriation, the environment, and post-colonialism, and you need to reflect that. To be able to speak in your own time.

I believe in fashion, it is vital for creativity. At the same time, we have to critically analyze what we have done in the past. When we started, we didn’t have enough culture to understand, so we made fashion with our references. Fashion was a little bubble, where our conversation was among fashion people. In Italy, at school, I was taught technical ideas: how to make a jacket, and what fabric to use. Now, at Dior, I study many new things.”

From this, it is clear that Maria Grazia Chiuri’s fashion goes beyond its theoretical definition since it gives a new meaning and concept to the world. This woman and designer offers an innovative, inclusive, diverse vision, and beyond all prejudice. Maria Grazia Chiuri’s designs are designs for people, for reality, and for society, where transparencies, textures, patterns, colors, and phrases are created in an objective and meaningful way full of opposition and change.

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