The collection includes collabs with artists such as Mickalene Thomas, who reinterpreted Christian Dior’s iconic Bar jacket with beading and embroidery (right). Photo: Ines Manai

Drawing inspiration from Morocco, featuring collaborations with African artists, and presented in its capital, Marrakesh, Dior’s Resort ’20 collection is a tribute to the continent of Africa. Forming the backbone of the 60-look collection was Dior’s collaboration with Uniwax. Based in the city of Abidjan in West Africa, the atelier specialises in African wax fabric, a luxury material that’s reminiscent of Indonesian batik.

The Uniwax fabric requires a laborious  process of about 20 steps to print, and has no right side up or inside out. Photo: Ines Manai

Now, as the first luxury house to centre an entire collection around it, Dior has put this African textile in the spotlight, championing local craftsmanship and “Made in Africa”. Not only were all the cottons used for this wax fabric grown, spun and printed in the continent, the brand’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri also gave free rein to Uniwax artists in the design process. 

The result is an eclectic mix of Dior motifs (like Toile de Jouy prints and tarot cards) represented in traditional African illustration styles, on capacious jackets and wide skirts – a nod to loose Moroccan caftans.

Photo: Ines Manai

This story was first published on Her World’s December 2019 issue.

 

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