Modern mythology

Dior took over the Panathenaic Stadium for a Grecian-inspired collection
By Alex James Taylor | Fashion | 21 June 2021

Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior Cruise 2022 collection stemmed from a series of photographs. Taken in 1951, the images capture one of Monsieur Dior’s haute couture collections inside Greece’s iconic Acropolis. Over seventy years later, yesterday Grazia Chiuri returned the house to Athens for a spectacular event inside the city’s vast Panathenaic Stadium.

Gallery: Exclusive fitting imagery from Dior Cruise 2022

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Drawing inspiration from the setting, the collection looked towards ideas of mythology and classicism through a modern lens in celebration of freedom and movement. Lightweight fabrics and utilitarian detailing, parachute shapes and drawstrings gave just that, offering couture-esque craft to sporty casual wear – even Dior’s classic Bar Jacket got a lightweight update.

Images of intertwined wrestlers became stunning prints sketched by artist Pietro Ruffo and inspired by gallery owner Alexander Lolas’ collection of vases, while hoods were built into waterproof unitards to create futuristic scuba looks alongside logo-waistband shorts and hooded towelling robes that gave the effect of a boxer’s ring entrance. Collaborations with local Greek artisans included a tailor and embroiderer from Argos in the Peloponnese, a silk factory in the northeastern town of Soufli, and a maker of fisherman’s caps from the port of Piraeus reworked caps worn by the fishermen of Hydra since the 19th century.

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All-white tailoring was a tribute to German-American actress Marlene Dietrich, in particular, a photo of her dressed as the Aetolian princess Leda, while a number of draped dresses were Chiuri’s own take on Grecian peplos. Elsewhere, illustrations of female figures from Greek mythology by artist Christiana Soulou (who walked the show) outlined seven female figures from Greek mythology. The event ended with a true showstopper as a model walked out in a Bjork-esque swan dress inspired by the story of Leda, who was tricked by Zeus disguised as a swan.

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