It is the persuasive and nostalgic sound of flamenco sung by a violin that breaks the profound silence of the night that envelops Plaza de España. Everything is still, the passage of time is marked by the dance steps of the flamenco dancers, while a chorus of women intones the ancient litanies in the Andalusian dialect, an intimate and private language with which love and pain have been vented for centuries. There is the darkness of the evening, the golden stone that gives off the heat of the sun’s rays that kissed it during the day and contrasts with the multicolored tiles that embellish the imposing regionalist architecture. And the powerful red of the cascading flowers. On the catwalk (if you can define it that way) they parade gypsies, gauchos, bullfighters, horsemen, Zorro women and dancers. There is all the power of ancestral Spain in the image he gives us Maria Grazia Chiuri with this extraordinary one Dior Cruise 2023 fashion show from Seville. “Once I arrived in Spain, I immediately felt that the tradition is still very much alive here. I was able to recognize myself in this country, feeling a strong bond with my culture. With this collection I have tried to give voice to all the elements that I have encountered in my journey in recent months. It was a search for the traditions, crafts, stories and heroines of this land“, Explained the stylist. And actually this collection is the third stage of her journey in the Mediterranean of the Cruise line, a path of stylistic research and creative reflection that began in 2020 with the fashion show in Lecce, in the Salento of her homeland; then continued in Greece, in Athens, the “cradle” of European civilization, and now culminating in Spain, a borderland with a fervent religiosity.
And Andalusia is the region par excellence today the most uncontaminated, slow and authentic, very far from the worldliness of Ibiza or the internationality of the capital Madrid: the rites of Holy Week in Seville are still the same as centuries ago, animated by the same spirited devotion; and flamenco still maintains its cathartic value without slipping into a mere tourist catcher show. Sacred and profane, Saints and Madonnas carried on the shoulders of penitents and the sensual screwing of the gypsy dancers. In this intense atmosphere, the same immortalized in the chiaroscuro of some of Goya’s paintings and set in the words of Federico García Lorca, this collection has been set that combines the fascination of a mystical land, interpretation of traditions and – above all – celebration of local craftsmanship. Thus, the Corpus Domini procession gives way to Chiuri’s “procession of clothes”, the players leave the tablaos and pour into the square: the glance of the grand finale with the succession of looks encompasses all the powerful meaning of the designer’s work. The 24 carat gold woven dresses were made by the same skilled craftsmen who weave the precious vestments of the Madonna of the Macarena, symbol of Seville. The flounces that are the fil rouge are the iconic ones of the clothes of the Hispanic tradition, as well as the palette that characterizes the collection: black is the same favorite of devoted women but also by Andalusian singers and knights; red is the “hot” color par excellence, passionate and overwhelming, symbol, together with the golden yellow, of the Spanish flag; and finally, pure white and purple are symbols of mourning, penance and expectation. And then again, the emblematic Manila shawl with its fringes is revisited in a couture key but continues to tell the stories and travels of the communities that created and worn it. The overabundance of embroidery and the high belt to mark the waistline also belong to the culture of the gypsy nomads, combined here with wide skirts that mark the trait d’union with the heritage of the Parisian Maison, which arrived in this city as early as 1956 with its founder Christian Dior and his extraordinary high fashion spring / summer collection Bal à Seville.
And then the women, the “heroines”, as Chiuri defines them, of this land so ancestrally imbued with the eternal feminine: the designer was inspired first and foremost by La Capitana, stage name of Carmen Amaya, the first flamenco dancer to perform in men’s clothing. With her freedom, he freed the dance from any form of submission, embodying the essence of flamenco, combining power and fragility in her art. But not only. Dior’s Zorro woman is nothing more than a tribute to Duchess of Alba, legendary character who went down in history for his long rides on horseback with Jackie Kennedy and an emblematic look characterized by the short and tightly fitted jacket, high-waisted trousers, riding boots and a wide-brimmed hat worn sideways. The collection draws directly from Spain’s most mythological past to constitute a wardrobe made up of a few recognizable pieces – Bar jackets, suspenders, white shirts, boleros and gipsy dresses – underpinned by ultra-modern accessories, first of all the reinterpretations of the brand’s symbolic bags, such as the Dior Book Tote and the Saddle Bag. THEThe result is a unique blend of the wisdom of local artisans and the excellence of haute couture which confirms, once again, the winning playing field for Maria Graziea Chiuri who in these creations can methodologically give free rein to her creativity. And don’t confuse this fashion exercise with a mere Spanish representation.