The Story Behind Dior’s Craft-Focused Presentation Today

The Story Behind Dior’s Craft-Focused Presentation Today

A close-up of the luminarie installation while it was in progress.

Photo: Antonia Maria Fantetti / Courtesy of Dior

Thirty thousand LED bulbs, 60 tons of scaffolding, and 12 days—that’s what it took to create the elaborate set for Dior’s Cruise 2021 presentation, which debuted today. Although the show was not physically attended by members of the fashion industry, it was broadcast widely via video. Clothing aside, it was the sparkling design attributes that made the event so compelling.

The show was set in the Apulia town of Lecce, which paid homage more to creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Italian roots than to the house of Dior’s own French heritage. Fratelli Parisi, which is based in nearby Taurisano, was tapped to create architectural luminarie installations that brought the event to life. The company has been in operation since 1876. Usually its bright, many-bulbed light designs are used in local celebrations—honoring patron saints in public settings and adding a further glow to monuments. (The craft’s religious origins are made more clear when one considers that luminarie translates roughly to “light in air.”) Nonetheless, in recent years, their carpenters and electricians have worked together on other projects, perhaps most memorably in the case of a 2014 Venice Biennale installation. However, this Dior commission, spearheaded by artist Marinella Senatore, stands apart from even that past precedent. Set in the Lecce town square, the final work…

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