Mexico, often described as a “place of the soul,” served as the muse for surrealist luminaries such as Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, and Tina Modotti. Now, Dior seamlessly weaves the essence of Mexican art and culture into their Cruise 2024 collection, capturing the very heart and soul of this captivating nation. Frida Kahlo, an emblematic figure and embodiment of Mexico's artistic heritage, takes centre stage in this remarkable fashion journey. Kahlo's clothing became a symbol of her identity, a means of expression, protest, and empowerment. Maria Grazia Chiuri pays homage to her transformative spirit with a motif that unfolds in a myriad of shades and forms, resembling a precious jewel case encasing a fragile yet resilient body.
Dior’s profound admiration for Mexico traces back to Christian Dior's early years. In 1950, Christian Dior signed an exclusive contract with El Palacio de Hierro, a prominent department store in Mexico City, which reproduced his meticulously crafted designs for Mexican customers. The success was immediate, and across the Atlantic, Dior found a devoted ambassador in María Félix, a beloved actress and avid admirer of Dior's elegance. In 1972, as part of the French Week in Mexico City, Marc Bohan presented the haute couture autumn-winter collection at the Camino Real hotel, with proceeds benefiting the charity Aldeas Infantiles SOS de México IAP. This friendship continued with ready-to-wear and haute couture shows in 1981, held at the Casino del Bosque and organised for philanthropic purposes.
In 2002, then Artistic Director John Galliano paid tribute to this historic complicity with an haute couture Fall/Winter collection that celebrated Mexico's creative heritage. Maria Grazia Chiuri followed suit, reinterpreting this legacy in her 2019 cruise show. Drawing inspiration from the empowering escaramuzas – female riders who challenged traditional gender norms in Mexican rodeo competitions – Chiuri incorporated traditional embroidery, vibrant floral motifs and graphic patterns into her designs, creating a striking fusion of tradition and innovation.This year, the House continues its commitment to preserving and promoting masterful craftsmanship in a new major partnership, aiming to transmit and perpetuate the country's incomparable customs.
Drawing inspiration from archival sketches by Andrée Brossin de Méré, moths gracefully come to life on the garments, symbolising Kahlo's defiance of traditional gender boundaries. Like Kahlo, who fearlessly embraced a men's three-piece suit, the collection features impeccably tailored suits that merge her distinctive style with the Tehuana custom. Counterbalancing these structured ensembles, full skirts are artfully paired with traditional tunics called huipils, creating a harmonious interplay of masculinity and femininity.
A resplendent pink dress reminiscent of Kahlo's self-portraits takes centre stage, evoking the mesmerising beauty of fragility. Delicate cotton, hemp, and silk lace fabrics, adorned with meticulous collar designs, merge seamlessly with butterfly-like jacquards, creating an ethereal and poetic visual narrative. Pleated velvet skirts in a kaleidoscope of captivating colours accentuate the hips before unfolding into blossoming corollas, a nod to the rich flora and fauna that grace Mexican landscapes and echo Kahlo's iconic paintings.Collaborating closely with skilled Mexican artisans, Dior showcases their extraordinary expertise through meticulously crafted embroideries adorning dresses and shirts. Each piece reflects a story of cultural heritage and artistic symbiosis, blending tradition with modernity in a breathtaking display of artistry.