Set against the backdrop of Mumbai’s Gateway of India, Dior unveiled its new autumn collection to the world on Thursday.
It marked the first time the house, which has a long-standing history of working with artisans in India, has showcased a full collection in the country.
As close to 100 models passed under a 14-metre-tall toran, a symbolic artwork covered with patchwork and embroidery created especially for the show, India’s first female tabla virtuoso, Anuradha Pal, performed a captivating and soulful soundtrack.
“Seen as a symbolic ceremonial entrance to India, the Gateway and the toran serve as a metaphor for this intimate collaboration, referencing cross-cultural influences, heritage and traditions,” Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri said in an Instagram post.
India’s famed embroidery played a central role in the collection, which featured silhouettes, fabrics and styles that paid homage to the host country’s rich heritage and craftsmanship.
Simple silhouettes in monochrome and neutral palettes soon gave way to a riot of colour, as models appeared in silk chartreuse coats paired with matching shirts, purple and yellow sequined dresses, tops and co-ords that matched the floral carpets that ran down either side of the runway.
Elsewhere, flowing sari-inspired silk skirts were presented in rich purples and fuchsia pinks, while relaxed trousers and matching jackets featured intricate patchworking.
Scroll through the gallery above to see the full Dior autumn 2023 collection
Dior has worked closely with Mumbai atelier Chanakya, which employs artisans and underprivileged women, for several years.
Speaking ahead of the show, Chiuri said the collection is dedicated to the "long-standing relationship with India and the exploration of century-old techniques".
“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," she added.
It is not the first time that the French fashion house has held one of its shows at a historic monument. For its autumn 2023 menswear collection, Dior decamped to Cairo, presenting 75 looks with the illuminated Great Pyramids of Giza as a backdrop.