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  • Written by Ilia Sdralli


The Dior house is no short of unexpected landmark shows. The storied brand hosted its runway show in Mumbai, making history as the very first fashion house to host a seasonal-not resort show in India. This was not a random move though, as Indian luxury consumers are already playing an important role in the luxury market, with their number set to treble by 2030, according to BoF. Statistics aside, India has always played a key, often unseen role. at manufacturing European luxury fashion-and Dior celebrated it by showcasing the best of Indian craftsmanship on their Pre Fall 2023 runway. Set at the historic Gateway of India, the show marked Maria Grazia Chiuri’s ode to Dior’s own links with Indian artisanship, the show featured sartorial inspirations associated with Indian heritage such as specific brocade fabrics, tie-dye details, Nehru collars, and those Indian pinks and purples that captivated the eye.

A great many of the intricate embroidery and textiles were specifically made for Dior by Chanakya International, the Mumbai atelier that has been Chiuri’s close collaborator since her Fendi era. Karishma Swali, artistic director of Chanakya School of Craft, marked their collaboration for the Dior show in India as a true milestone for Indian craftsmanship. "For years, we've brought parts of Mumbai to Paris," she noted. "The fact that Paris is coming to Mumbai means the world to all of us."The choice of this destination is deeply linked to our shared history and passions,” Delphine Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture also told WWD. “Our unwavering affinity with India, woven from the very beginnings of the house in 1947, and through the shows of Monsieur Dior’s various successors — from Marc Bohan to Maria Grazia Chiuri — has constantly been deployed in numerous creative dialogues combining innovation and ancestral heritage.”

Set with the historic Gateway of India monument as a backdrop, the show featured a staggering 99 looks that merged Dior heritage with colors and motifs that spoke of their Indian influence, Many of the mirror work, embroidery, and sequins were created in collaboration with Chanakya and was shown by a truly multicultural model line up that featured 23 Indian models, and others with a truly international background. The star-studded crowd was also a multicultural one, including Bollywood icons Rekha, Sonam Kapoor, and Anushka Sharma, as well as models and actors Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Ella Richards, and Maisie Williams. The show echoed Mumbai’s larger decorative character with unique color combinations such as rani pink and jamuni purple as well as ever-changing motifs that noded to the Indian collective qualities the Westen world has long forgotten.


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