The Dior Cruise Show 2020 Celebrates African Magic and Mastery in Marrakesh

Dior collaborated with African designers and artisans for its 2020 cruise collection.

Dior staged its cruise 2020 collection in Marrakesh Monday, making it the first time the iconic French house holds a major event in Morocco. For Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri to chooe the North African country for the presentation doesn’t really come as a surprise. As well as Dior’s strong history with the continent, Yves Saint Laurent, the maison’s former Creative Director, was fascinated with Morocco and considered it his second home.

The Red City’s 16th century El Badi Palace, with its pool and gardens, created a magical backdrop for the cruise show, which has become an important source of sales. For an added romantic touch, the huge outdoor runway was decorated with dozens of floating tealight candles.

Inspired by West African fabrics, the show’s theme was ‘Common Ground.’ And Grazia Chiuri went as far as teaming up with artists and artisans from different parts of Africa. For example, Burkina Faso’s famous Pathé Ouédraogo, widely known as Pathé’O, designed a special shirt for the collection that was a nod to Nelson Mandela, the late South African leader he used to dress.

Additionally, British-Jamaican Grace Wales Bonner and Mickalene Thomas, an African-American artist, presented their personal interpretation of the New Look.

Plus, in a rare move, an Abidjan-based firm called Uniwax manufactured one of the predominant fabrics, toile du jouy, which was wholly designed and produced as a wax print.

Other African textile specialists and anthropologists were also involved in the making of the collection. Sumano, an association that aims to revitalise crafts like pottery and weaving made by women in Moroccan tribes, also added its mark with the more tapestry-style woven pieces in the collection.

Dresses featuring Murano glass beads and head to toe patterned prints were a highlight, while there were some of the brand’s hallmarks like synched suit jackets. Jumpsuits, including a hip denim one, bowling shirts and anti-fit trousers also made an appearance. When it came to the plainer dresses, the chief colours were maroon, chocolate and black, as well as beautiful white lace ones for carefree brides. Some models were also spotted wearing head wraps or turbans by Stephen Jones, who joined forces with a Ghanaian-British milliner named Martine Henry.


The Guest List
As usual, it was a star-studded extravaganza, with one of the special guests, Diana Ross, stealing the spotlight. The Motown legend and disco diva went on to sing hits like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” at the after-party. Actresses Lupita Nyong’o, Jessica Alba, Amira Casar  and Shailene Woodley also jetted in to Marrakech for the spectacular presentation. Plus, of course, some of the most renowned names in fashion like Jeanne Damas and Carolina Issa made the most stylish entrances.

Lupita Nyong'o

Evan Ross and Diana Ross

Camila Coelho

Pathé’O​ and guest

Jessica Alba

Shailene Woodley

Karlie Kloss

Amira Casar

Caroline Issa

Elena Perminova

Jeanne Damas

Lucie de la Falaise

Viola and Vera Arrivabene

Negin Mersalehi

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