Dior Couture Explores the Arcana of Tarot Cards With a Nod to Renaissance Horse Girls

Fashion

We can’t predict what 2021 will bring, but that hasn’t stopped us from searching for answers in the stars. The practice of self-reflection and spirituality hits different these days as we approach a year in quarantine. Some dove into birth charts seeking solace while others discovered numerology or rabidly DM’d astro memes to their friends with a coy “same.” The magical realm is broad and far-reaching—even designer Christian Dior himself showed a keen interest in searching for signs of destiny. In Maria Grazia Chiuri’s case, she looked to Tarot cards.

The Dior creative director presented her spring-summer 2021 collection, pulling inspiration from the divine deck of cards, both literally and emotionally. “In uncertain times marked by a palpable desire to reconnect with the world’s soul, Maria Grazia Chiuri wished to explore […] the mysterious and pluralistic beauty of the tarot in a series of dresses featuring virtuoso constructions,” the brand stated in a press release. The show stands as “manifest proof that couture remains the ultimate territory of experimentation and possibility.”

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In a 15-minute short film standing in as an in-person show, Italian director Matteo Garrone guides us through a magical land. A clairvoyant asks a beret-clad woman to choose a card, any card. From here, a world of Visconti-Sforza-inspired renaissance unfolds. The protagonist meets a set of characters including The High Priestess, the Empress, Justice, and the Fool, all doused in Dior couture.

Even if you aren’t familiar with the 78-card deck or what makes a major or minor arcana, the clothes speak for themselves. The reverie plays to Grazia’s strengths. Her signature gowns are nipped at the waist, some expertly tailored with matching capes for fairytale fodder, others artfully displaying the hand-painted illustrations of Roman artist Pietro Ruffo. It’s fairytale fodder for middle age buffs who love evening wear. The lookbook even enlisted a medieval white horse, further enveloping the collection in fantasy.

Last year, before the unimaginable took place with COVID-19, Dior’s show posed the question, “What If Women Ruled The World?”. This season, the answer belongs to the upper realm.

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