A suggestive place named the African Capital of Culture 2020, a melting pot of creatives like writers, photographers and fashion designers: that is Marrakech, the enchanting Moroccan city studded with majestic architecture, palm oases, colors and lights.
It is not by chance that Yves Saint Laurent settled there, or that Maria Grazia Chiuri chose it as the setting for her 2020 Cruise show, with the city being both an iconic geographic hotspot for creativity, and a strategic crossroads between Europe and Africa.
At a time where walls are raised to divide countries on a side, and the fall of the best renowned is celebrated on the other, the creative director intended to send out a multicultural, clearly inclusive message.
And it came loud and clear, along with enthusiast praise for the Cruise line, a triumphant dialogue of elements from different cultures, like African cotton, French silk, Italian cashmere, and local crafts. Camo patterns, wax prints, embroideries in the warm tones of the African desert and spices, like burnt ochre and sandy nuances, and shantung fabrics. Plus Dior’s codes, like the famous Toile de Jouy print, revisited with tropical and indigo touches by Uniwax, a factory that recycles water to create eco-friendly prints on cotton.
Unveiled in the past few days, the ad campaign stresses the collection’s ode to diversity, and the importance of every culture’s know-how.
Captured by photographer Brigitte Niedermair, Dior’s creations reveal their strong magnetic essence on models Ruth Bell, Adesuwa Aighewi and Ana Barbosa, who glorify different beauty canons, and evoke gestures and images from the collective memory of a varied cultural heritage.
Fashion is a borderless “common ground”, where far-way places mix with local craftsmanship and different trades. What comes of it?
Rich arts that inspire new visions.