The San Juan Daily Star
Dior’s tribute to India
By Iris Edén Santiago
Special to The Star
The powerful fashion industry is giving credit to hundreds of women, artisans and textile workers in faraway continents whose handwork, beading, knotting, stitching and embroideries are the cornerstone of haute couture collections presented in pompous events in first-tier world cities.
For the last couple of years, luxe labels have really paid attention to these ancient cultures. Destination shows are a thing: Chanel in Dakar, Dior in Giza, Louis Vuitton in Seoul. Important fashion emporiums are not just searching for inventive backdrops to stage a show. They are telling the world that these talented artisans exist and that they collaborate with them, whatever that means. It is a huge step, I would say. Hey, not every fashion look is designed, sketched and produced in the western world alone. Influences, trends, colors, patterns and silhouettes can originate in distant locations, in the creative minds of people who never had access to a fashion design school.
Christian Dior just celebrated The Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai for their pre fall 2023 collection held at the Gateway of India historic landmark. It was magical.
The runway was a feast of bright colors, floral patterns, and Indian motifs, with elephants, mandalas, lotus, tigers, and peacocks adorning blouses, pajama dressing, dusters, and sarong skirts. The color palette included shades of forest green, emerald green, blue, orange and marigold, but we especially loved the indigoes, the intense purple hues and of course, the super bright fuchsia.
We also loved the Nehru collars, metallic shifts, mini dresses and most of all, the architectural sari skirts worn with cropped tops in silver and gold. Almost every look was accessorized with strands of pearls and pearl choker necklaces. On their feet? Simple sandals, flip-flops or moccasins.
“I personally wanted to celebrate and showcase the incredible knowledge India offers to the international world of fashion in the field of embroidery, the mastery of the artisans who continue to work on this craft, and the commitment of Chanakya’s founders to preserving India’s history and culture, portrayed by each embroidery technique,” said Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri.