Maria Grazia Chiuri opened her recent Dior show for Spring/Summer 2018 with the question “Why have there been no great women artists?” emblazoned on a striped tee, and then she proceeded to dedicate the entire craft and thesis of her collection to a great woman artist: Niki de Saint Phalle. Answering the query set forth by Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay by the same name was easy for the feminist designer, who recognized that the heart of the problem was the failure of art as an institution to include females in its construct altogether. Similarly, fashion design has belonged to the realm of men, but Chiuri’s presence at Dior signals significant change in the industry.
Never one to squander an opportunity to make a powerful statement, Chiuri chose to celebrate the work of de Saint Phalle by resurrecting the totems from her ‘Tarot Garden’ installation, recreating them for the modern woman by way of elaborate embroidery techniques.
In the video above, shared exclusively with Savoir Flair, Chiuri explains the significance of de Saint Phalle’s influence and shows how the looks came to life with her unusual and fantastical creature creations.