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THE COMFORT
OF STRANGERS

 

Photography by Arianna LagoStyling by Simone Konu-Rae



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Christian Dior’s affinity with Mexico can be traced back to his first collection in 1947, which featured a ball gown simply named after the country. In the years to come, other designs followed – Acapulco, Soirée à Mexico – and Mexique, a tulle dress embroidered with golden scales, which was famously reimagined in a dot and scallop pattern by Wallis Simpson. The garments captured across these pages align this historic relationship with current creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s own fascination with the country’s contemporary design landscape and the work of its craftspeople.

For her Resort 2024 collection, shot on location in Venice, Chiuri brought her vision to the Baroque courtyard of Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City, where Frida Kahlo studied – honouring the country’s history of female artistry, and the house’s commitment to traditional handwork as practised by silversmiths, weavers and embroiderers, as well as hemp-, lace- and silk lacemakers.

As is always the case with her destination spectacles, Chiuri enlisted the help of local artisans to bring to the forefront Mexico’s savoir-faire. Nahua weaver and co-founder of the Yolcentle Textile Workshop, Hilán Cruz, lent his hand to an array of intricate embroideries on a series of Dior silken taffeta dresses and colourful quechquemitls, which reflected the flora and fauna of his local environment in Puebla.

Pedro Meza, the founder of Sna Jolobil, which employs artisans from Mexico’s Chiapas region, led a team of makers to create a fuschia wrapover gaban and matching textile for a Dior Book Tote Bag, woven on a backstrap loom with tassel yarn embroideries from the Tzotzil communities of Zinacantán and San Juan Chamula.

Remigio Mestas, a second-generation textile researcher and advocate for the preservation of Oaxaca’s artisanal textiles, oversaw the creation of four traditional huipiles – loose-fitting tunics, generally made from two or three rectangular pieces of fabric – decorated with chain-stitch embroidery. Styled as T-shirts and worn with denim, these looks marked the seamless integration of heritage craft and a contemporary context. The house’s signature Bar suit was reimagined by Rocinante, an Oaxaca-based brand made up of an all-female Mixtec team, led by Narcy Areli Morales. Their geometric, brightly-coloured, hand-stitched motifs, which swept across both jacket and skirt, portrayed the botanical specimens of the region, paying homage to the importance of women at the intersection of artistry and science. Butterfly motifs made their wandering way across the collection, taken from a print that Chiuri found in the Dior archive that was designed during Marc Bohan’s tenure at the house in the late 1950s. Chunky belt buckles, delicate necklaces and rings were hand cast in silver in collaboration with Rafael Villa Rojas, who manages Plata Villa, a workshop that has been operating in Mexico City for 81 years, perfecting the crafts of silversmithing and jewellery making.

Each stitch rooted in the artistry of Mexican traditions wove together both past and present, celebrating a shared appreciation for the preservation of the handmade and throwing light on those lives often left in the shadows. Following Kahlo’s mingling of the aesthetics of botany, feminism and magical realism, Chiuri presents a melding of the natural and social environments of Mexico in a collection of triumphant abundance. ◉

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