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Dior just unveiled their autumn-winter haute couture collection in Paris. Closely collaborating with artist Marta Roberti, the hose of dreams presents Ancestors of a Time to Come a collection which pays homage to ancient goddesses and the interconnectedness of humans and nature. The Dior haute couture autumn-winter 2023-2024 show captivates our hearts with its powerful storytelling and visual narrative, skilfully combining the worlds of fashion and art, the collection evokes a sense of reverence for the ancient feminine power, and the timeless connection between humans and nature. Marta Roberti, known for her meditative approach and intricate paper drawings, seamlessly blends elements of animals, goddesses, self-portraits, and fragments of untouched landscapes.

Drawing inspiration from the mythical world where feminine creative energy thrived, the collection transports us to a time when women and the feminine principle were revered as the origin of life itself. Roberti's work delves into the excavations conducted by feminist archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, which uncovered a lost world of Neolithic cultures characterized by their egalitarian nature. These ancient societies honoured the power of women, recognising their ability to give life. The artist's installation for the Dior runway show becomes a tribute to these supreme forces, the goddesses who governed the universe, often accompanied by leopards, bulls, snakes, and other creatures.

Animals play a vital role in this composition, representing guiding spirits and coexisting harmoniously with the goddesses. The fusion of animal and human forms creates hybrid beings, where feathers and claws intertwine with the divine feminine essence. In a cosmogony of symbols spanning different traditions, Marta Roberti immerses her female characters in luxuriant nature, emphasising the harmonious relationship between humans and the natural world. Roberti's artistic journey led her to explore the various incarnations of goddesses in Mediterranean, Asian, and Central American cultures. She studied the iconography associated with these deities, often portrayed alongside animals, and embodied their postures and movements through performative acts. The result is a series of grand drawings, now meticulously embroidered on large fabrics by the esteemed Chanakya ateliers in Mumbai.

As we reflect on "Ancestors of a Time to Come," we are reminded of Rainer Maria Rilke's words, "Those who are long gone are in us... as blood that throbs, and as gesture that rises up out of the depths of time." Marta Roberti's collaboration with Dior invites us to honour our ancestral heritage and embrace a future where the sacred bond between humanity and the natural world is cherished.

Nur Rezai-Mah

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