Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pietro Beccari, Christian Dior’s creative director of women’s collection and CEO, hosted a video conference today to announce the Paris house’s cruise plans. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of Dior’s original show date of May 27. With France and Italy now more than a month into their re-openings, the company is moving forward with plans for a new date of July 22. A live show with no audience will be staged at the Piazza del Duomo in Lecce, a historic city in Italy’s Puglia region.
Beccari gave three reasons for the show. “The first one for Maria Grazia and I, but I think we are not the only ones: luxury is emotions and when it comes to fashion there is nothing that carries the emotion of a real fashion show, a live performance where art is performed without a safety net,” he said. Reason number two: supporting fashion on both a local and global scale, from the artisans who make the clothes and accessories to the “family” around the show: the models, the photographers, the hairstylists, the makeup artists, the musicians, and production houses. “We believe this occasion will be auspicious for the future, a good incentive to carry on with a certain optimism.” Reason number three: Both Beccari and Chiuri are Italian. “The support for our country is important for both of us, [as is] the support for the Puglia region, which was so badly hit by the crisis and on the edge of bankruptcy, but with a strong will to fight,” he explained.
Chiuri, whose father comes from the Puglia region, gave background about the long-planned collection in a taped interview showcasing the many Puglia-based craftspeople she called upon to help produce it and their particular crafts. Among them are tombolo, a type of embroidery she likened to “art,” and la constantine, a weaving method. Of special note are the luminarie, or light sculptures, of Marinella Senatore, who incorporated sayings into some of the pieces she contributed, including this one, “we rise by lifting others.”
“Something that was very important to me was conveying how much craftsmanship value there is in Puglia, and how important it is especially for younger generations to invest in this,” Chiuri said in the video. “We are a company that works with people across the world, so many people depend on our work. It’s a collective project that involves many people and I found a great sense of sisterhood and brotherhood among these people who, despite all the difficulties and this general sense of not knowing and not understanding, decided to work with me anyway.”
Today’s announcement sets Dior apart from its luxury goods house rivals, which are mostly sitting out the resort season spectaculars of typical years in favor of showroom appointments or virtual experiences. Beccari indicated that the Christian Dior fall 2020 couture show, scheduled for July 6, will not be live, but wouldn’t go into more detail. As for the spring 2021 show, to be held in Paris in September, he said, “we hope to be able to have some audience, if not a full room.”