The tree of life, symbol of the connection between cultures, mythologies and all forms of creation, is the starting point of the autumn-winter 2022-2023 haute couture line dreamed up by Maria Grazia Chiuri. This emblem of universal reach, reinterpreted by Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko, who designed the mesmerizing set design for the show, marks a new dialogue of the art and crafts through the prism of couture. A testament to different realms of imagination conveyed by virtuoso savoir-faire, the collection offers a profusion of embroidery on cotton, wool crepe, silk and cashmere, while a patchwork of lace and guipure braids adorn dresses. Thanks to refined gestures of the hand, the tree of life are thus transformed into a manifesto for harmonious plurality, allowing restoration of balance, if only momentarily.

Chanakya, Preserving the Excellence of Savoir-Faire

Through the founding of their very own Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai in 2017, India’s Chanakya ateliers have made it possible to offer women in local communities a new autonomy while preserving precious techniques. The students of this unique school learn the roughly 700 gestures required to become a master craftsperson, a role that in India is traditionally reserved for men.

By weaving exceptional collaborations with Chanakya, Maria Grazia Chiuri celebrates – more than ever – the pluralistic beauty and the perpetuation of savoir-faire, at the intersection of art, craft making, and haute couture. A virtuoso collective work, a poetry of the hand that transcends borders and eras by sublimating the priceless richness of cultures: from India to France, from Mumbai to Paris.

Extending these dialogues with the cultures of the world, the embroideries of this scenography – conceived and created especially for the Dior autumn-winter 2022-2023 haute couture show by the Chanakya ateliers and the Chanakya School of Craft* – employ a melange of age-old techniques like the punto croce or the cross stitch and its variations, different forms of couching, and the feather stitch as well as a range of satin stitches to produce a refined shading of nuances.

The floral garlands and wheat crowns were created using cross stitch color layering to capture the depth of the roses while the wheat stems were created with organic threads, couching and braiding.

The tree of life is hand embroidered with fine threads in satin stitches, juxtaposed with jute threads in key areas, as well as different knotting and small needlepoint techniques.