Dior Cruise 2024: A Celebration Of Frida Kahlo And Exceptional Craftsmanship

Dior Cruise 2024: A Celebration Of Frida Kahlo And Exceptional Craftsmanship

With Cruise season offering the chance to choose far-flung destinations and play with set design in perhaps a more creative way than the Ready-to-Wear and Haute Couture shows, many fashion designers are opting to shine a light on some of the cities and countries which have provided inspiration for the brand over the years.

And Maria Grazia Chiuri's Dior Cruise '24 show, which took place in Mexico City on May 20, was no different. The Dior house's relationship with Mexico has a rich history - with Christian Dior's taste for travel and foreign cultures manifesting throughout his early collections. One of his first dresses was named 'Mexico', after all. This was followed by 'Acapulco', 'Soirée à Mexico' and 'Mexique,' a tulle dress embroidered with golden scales, which he created for autumn-winter 1951.

For the Cruise '24 show, now-Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri chose to honour this early infatuation of Dior's with a show presented in Mexico which celebrated all the many interesting strands of Mexican artisanal practices, including the artistry of Frida Kahlo.

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1) Inspired by Frida Kahlo

The collection took its vision from the work of self-taught and iconic painter Frida Kahlo. Known for her masculine-meet-feminine aesthetic, the artist spoke not only about gender, identity and bisexuality - revolutionary for the time she lived in - but also about the struggles of a body that was ravished at a young age by polio.

Maria Gracia Chiuri on drawing from Frida Kahlo: 'Everybody looks at the iconography of her artwork in a superficial way, but her life is incredible because she explored the relationship between her body and her clothes. She was so conscious of that. Frida talked about disabilities and forging her own identity way back in the 1930s and 1940s’

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2) A Studious Location

To further canonise Kahlo, Maria Grazia Chiuri chose an incredibly special location for the show - the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, where the Mexican painter studied, and also where she first met husband Diego Rivera, who was instrumental to her work at various points.

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3) An Incredible Turn Out

Taking their coveted seats along the mezzanine of several floors on the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, the Dior Cruise show welcomed an impressive line-up of guests, including movie stars like Naomi Watts musicians like Alicia Keys (pictured) and a variety of local celebrities like Karla Souza, Yalitza Aparicio and Belinda also attended.

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4) A Literal Tribute

A diaphanous pink dress reminiscent of the one worn by Frida Kahlo in one of her self-portraits featured among the looks to walk the show. The beauty of fragility referenced in the show notes.

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5) Bending The Rules Of Gender

Part of Kahlo's enduring appeal was her ability to push the boundaries, recognising the beauty of fragility, the strength in embracing the masculine with the feminine inside one body and using clothes as means of metamorphosis.

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6) Artisanal Integration

The seriousness with which Maria Grazia Chiuri approached her celebration of Mexico deserves underlining. And as part of this, she found ways to weave the work of local artisans throughout the collection.

From Hilan Cruz Cruz, a weaver, invited to collaborate on a series of shirts and dresses, with embroideries produced in his workshop, through to Pedro Meza who produced some of the sash belts, Dior's ode to exceptional craftsmanship was clear.

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In Mexico City, within the grounds of the college where Frida Kahlo met Diego Rivera