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Maria Grazia Chiuri showcased the Dior Couture Autumn-Winter 2022-2023 collection at Musée Rodin in Paris, and the French house collaborated again with the Mumbai-based Chanakya atelier to create age-old embroidery techniques.

The Tree Of Life was the central element in the scenography for the Dior Couture A/W 2022-2023 show. It is a symbol of connection between cultures, mythologies and all forms of creation, it supports the sky and connects through its branches and roots.

The skilled craftsmen of the Chanakya atelier proficiently worked on the embroidery for the scenography. The Tree Of Life is hand embroidered with fine threads in satin stitches, placed with jute threads in essential areas, as well as different knotting and small needlepoint techniques. The Chanakya ateliers utilise traditional and ancestral embroidery techniques such as punto croce or the cross-stitch and its variations, different forms of couching, the feather stitch, and a range of satin stitches to produce a delicate shading of nuances. The floral garlands and wheat crowns were created using cross stitch colour layering to capture the depth of the roses while the wheat stems were created with organic threads, couching and braiding.

Maria Grazia Chiuri has been incorporating various cultures and crafts of different regions and giving them the recognition they deserve, ever since she began her reign at Dior in 2016. This time she got the Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko on board, who suggested using an element of Ukrainian folklore, the Tree of Life, as an emblematic theme for the scenography. The embroidery was created by The Chanakya, which is a Mumbai-based atelier led by Karishma Swali. They have worked with Dior for The Spring-Summer 2022 Dior show that presented an installation that was created by Indian artisans, it was an appreciation for the decadent Indian artistic history and craftsmanship. The Paris Couture week show that took place yesterday built a bridge between the expertise of many cultures in order to create a showcase that was meaningful and powerful.

The mission of India’s Chanakya atelier is to provide women from low-income communities with a high-quality education in hand embroidery, enabling them to maximise their potential and enhance their lives. Their Chanakya School of Craft focuses on development through education, skill development and women’s empowerment while preserving the heritage of these arts.

Dior Couture did its absolute best to connect the set with the collection. The looks feature braid like details that are related to the roots of the tree, and the flower and branch details on the fabrics bring about a naturalistic feel to the collection. The collection featured earthy and dull tones of browns and beiges with the occasional muted red, blue and pink. As the embroidery by the artisans took over the venue, models wearing romantic styles walked down the runway. A beautiful ode to craftsmanship was evident in the collection, the embroideries and patchwork celebrated the theme of folklore that this collection portrayed. The set is an important part of a show as it helps to create visual interest and compliment the collection being presented. The art created by the skilled craftsmen at Chanakya acted as a perfect backdrop for this collection. It was a pleasure to see India’s artisans carry these traditional techniques to a global stage once again.

All images: Courtesy Dior. 

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