Dior's Cruise 2021 collection: Italian townspeople line market square for show

Taking inspiration from her family's region, designer Maria Grazia Chiuri offered a fashionable take on homespun beauty

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Dior's creative director of womenswear, Maria Grazia Chiuri, returned to her family's roots for the maison's Cruise 2021 collection.

The show was held in the small southern Italian town of Lecce, in Puglia, on Wednesday, July 22, but the location wasn't the only link the collection had to the region.

As Chiuri's own father hails from the area, she decided to turn the occasion into a celebration of local artistry, using local weavers and embroiderers to decorate the 90-look collection.

Scroll through the gallery above to see more looks from the Dior Cruise 2021 collection.

A look from the Dior Cruise collection 2021. Courtesy Dior
A look from the Dior Cruise collection 2021. Courtesy Dior

The creations were paraded down the catwalk in front of a live audience. However, instead of the editors, buyers and celebrities that usually make up the front row, social distancing regulations meant it was instead the town's residents who turned up to the main square to watch the show.

Models swept past in understated, almost homely looks of pinafore dresses and floor-length skirts, with simple handkerchiefs covering their hair. Shoes, too, were simple and flat, from comfortable espadrilles to calf-length boots.

Locally-made geometric prints were cut into fringed skirts and playsuits with matching jackets, while floral embroidery trailed over roomy trousers, slung low on the hips, and Chiuri's staple floaty net skirts.

Pretty open-work lace arrived in square-necked dresses and high-necked tops, and even tie-dye appeared as smudged patterning across skirts and across great shaggy sheepskin gilets and jackets.

A look from the Dior Cruise collection 2021. Courtesy Dior
A look from the Dior Cruise collection 2021. Courtesy Dior

All this countryside femininity was broken up with the occasional nod back to the city, with a sleek trouser suit in black taffeta and a marvellous trompe-l'œil off-the-shoulder cocktail dress.

The defined tailoring of the house, meanwhile, came through in the assorted corsets and belts that nipped in waistlines. In truth, this was a collection that celebrated the hand-made and homemade, things that for years have been dismissed as part of a woman's traditional domestic role.

In shedding new light on these 'hidden' skills, Chiuri continues to champion the many facets of feminism.


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