Welcome to this first episode of Dior Talks. This podcast series will explore the connections between Creative Director of Women’s collections Maria Grazia Chiuri and contemporary women artists and curators.
This opening episode is devoted to Maria Grazia Chiuri herself. She is recorded on a leisurely stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris and later in her Dior office, in conversation with writer, curator, art historian – and series host – Katy Hessel.
Maria Grazia Chiuri was born in Rome, Italy, in 1964, into a progressive family that instilled in her the understanding that she could accomplish anything to which she set her mind. Her mother ran a dressmaking atelier, so from an early age she was exposed to fashion and the entrepreneurial spirit of women. This would be amplified through the encouragement of the five Fendi sisters, for whom she worked as a designer for nine years. 17 years at Valentino followed, the last few spent as joint creative director, before she joined Christian Dior in 2016 as Creative Director of the Women’s collections.
Having grown up in an era of widespread feminist activism in Italy, at Dior she has given free rein to her passion for feminist theory, especially in its overlap with art. Regarding t-shirts as incomparable communication platforms, from the first look of her first show they have broadcast messages that have disrupted the fashion system and introduced a new generation to a broad range of feminist thinkers and doers.
Her collections have been inspired by female artists such as Niki de Saint Phalle and Georgia O’Keeffe, and she has collaborated directly with others, such as Penny Slinger, Tomaso Binga and Judy Chicago. In a touching and intimate tribute, she cites her own daughter as her feminist hero.
Discover a selection of works:
Dior Autumn-Winter 2020-2021 show scenography, by Claire Fontaine: https://www.dior.com/en_int/womens-fashion/ready-to-wear-shows/autumn-winter-2020-2021-ready-to-wear-show
Dior Spring-Summer 2020 Haute Couture show scenography, by Judy Chicago: https://www.dior.com/en_int/womens-fashion/haute-couture-shows/spring-summer-2020-haute-couture-show
Dior Autumn-Winter 2019-2020 show scenography, by Tomaso Binga: https://www.dior.com/diormag/en_int/article/30399
Giardino dei Tarocchi: http://www.giardinodeitarocchi.it
Le Cyclop by Jean Tinguely: https://www.lecyclop.com