Dior showcases glittering craftsmanship on Paris runway

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Christian Dior took to the runway with sparkles and tailoring on Monday for the first day of Paris’ Haute Couture week, sending models down the catwalk in strapless dresses and neat winter jackets.

While the fashion world is still wavering on how to cope with the coronavirus outbreak, Dior decided to stage an in-person catwalk show for one of the most anticipated events of the season.

Masked guests included actresses Rosamund Pike, Madelaine Petsch and Claire Foy along with influencer Chiara Ferragni and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

Rhinestone and pearl embroideries dominated the collection on ankle-length dresses, shimmering tights paired with glitter bodysuits, sleeveless jackets and low-heel shoes.

The profusion of glitter was broken with neutral tones that ranged from black to off-white. Designs included ecru cashmere capes, grey pleated ensembles and long silk evening dresses cut low in the back.

The venue, a temporary structure in the gardens of the Rodin Museum, featured larger-than-life embroidered artworks from Indian artist couple Madhvi Parekh and Manu Parekh.

The exhibition of surreal pieces will remain in place for public viewing throughout the week.

LVMH-owned Dior collaborated with the Chanakya School of Craft based in Mumbai for some of the silhouettes, including a top embroidered with silver ribbons and crystal tassels matched with an a-line skirt.

With this Spring-Summer 2022 collection, described by designer Maria Grazia Chiuri as a highlight of art and craft, the creative chief wanted to promote a new generation of craftspeople.

“I think that to be a couture brand today, for Dior, means to support all this ability around the world and to promote and to maintain life,” Chiuri said in an interview with Reuters ahead of the show. “Because with the COVID, the risk is it disappears.”

Fashion Week runs until Thursday, with runway shows from Chanel as well as Italian labels Fendi and Valentino due to show their collections in the coming days.