French fashion house Dior presented its new collection and tribute to Greece in its first live show post-Covid inspired by the “Kallos” (beauty) and “Phos” (light) of Greek antiquity and traditions.
The French designer’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri selected Athens for both its light and its connection to sports inspired by a previous Dior photo shoot at the Acropolis some 70 years ago. The Kallimarmaro Panathenaic Stadium is where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896.
The show was part of the French fashion house’s “Dior celebrates Greece” series of events which on occasion of bicentennial celebrations marking 200 years since the Greek Revolution pays tribute to Greek creators and artisans.
The Athens show “(blends) the power of heritage and contemporary inventiveness”, Dior said.
Chiuri told Vogue that she had traveled across Greece searching for authentic practices and approaches which she found in local Greek communities.
“I am very interested in the craftmanship. It’s my passion,” Chiuri told AFP.
The show which featured mostly active/sportswear was attended by 400 guests from across the globe, including museum representatives, press, and collaborators such as French actress Catherine Deneuve, Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse, Anya Taylor Joy, and Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, among others.
Thursday’s event was also broadcast live at main squares in Soufli (known for its fine silk), Argos, and Kalamata to honor the tailors and artisans who created embroideries, silk works and tradition-inspired items for the show; and in Athens at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and at Cine Paris in Plaka.
“We are very proud to be here,” Chiuri said.
Athens was Dior’s first live event after a July 2020 closed presentation held in the Piazza del Duomo in Lecce, Italy.
Chiuri said she was happy to see spectators again.
“We worked a lot with video, film, but it’s completely different to have an audience at our fashion show. It’s like a concert,” she told AFP. “The guests are part of the show with us.”
In the fall of 1952, photographer Jean-Pierre Pedrazzini photographed Christian Dior models posing under the Caryatids at the Acropolis for Paris Match.
Dior has been granted permission by the Greek culture ministry to carry out photo shoots at the Acropolis, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the Ancient Agora in Athens, the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, and the temple of Zeus in Nemea.
“Everybody thinks of Greece and Italy in terms of holidays… But our research was really big in terms of the history of Greece. We worked to show how important this time was, not least for the 20th century,” said Chiuri in Vogue.