March 29, 2023

The Art of Joana Vasconcelos. The Dior Rebellion. Paris will never be the same

It is true that Paris already knew her. In 2012, Joana Vasconcelos brought her contemporary art to Versailles, she was the first woman and also the youngest artist to measure herself against the historical reference that is this Palace. And, then, the Portuguese artist conceived the exhibition not as a decoration of the space, but as a modern appropriation of a mythical place. Joana Vasconcelos did not seek to integrate into Versailles, but to integrate Versailles. She faced him without confronting him. And doesn’t it feel like history is repeating itself this week?

In the Tuileries Gardens, Paris, an organic, surreal and vibrant universe welcomed guests to Christian Dior’s Fall/Winter 23’24 collection show at Paris Fashion Week. Joana Vasconcelos’ work/installation ‘Valkyrie Miss Dior’, which weighs more than a ton and consists of 20 different fabric designs provided by the haute couture house, spread across runway, where Dior’s new creations were presented. The Portuguese artist wanted to explore how the organic form can interact with his “feminine realm social education craftsmanship”. Never before have the plastic arts combined so well with fashion. And Paris will hardly forget this moment.

And, if the setting suggested something more futuristic, Casa creative director Grazia Chiuri took inspiration from the past and, yes, the result is a collection less exuberant than the setting, but equal in talent. Three women, the sister of the House’s founder, Catherine Dior, heroine of the French resistance, and the French singers Édith Piaf and Juliette Gréco, each described as “revolutionary, both strong and fragile”, were the muses. which inspired Grazia Chiuri in this collection. The creative director thus brought the 1950s, Christian Dior’s heyday, into the present day. And as only she knows how to do it so well.

There was it looks vintage like fur coats, crumpled skirts and crumpled woolen socks. shirts and skirts with extra volume, as if reminiscent of the thicker fabrics of the post-war period. there were many black, but also floral patterns. and one piece that got all the attention, a black skirt with thousands of flowers as texture on an androgynous figure in a white shirt and tie. A collection that showed all the social education of artist workshop Dior. A collection with which Casa de Luxo tells the world that, better than anyone else, it understands what it means to be a woman: feminine, masculine, fragile, strong, beautiful in all its contradictions.

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