For her fall-winter 2022-2023 show, Maria Grazia Chiuri, the artistic director of the house's womenswear, invited Italian artist Mariella Bettineschi to create a series of works based on portraits of women by great European artists from the 16th to the 19th century, such as da Vinci, Veermer, Caravaggio and Raphael. She painstakingly erased the backgrounds and flaws, transposed the images into black and white and then gave them two sets of eyes. With these transformations, Mariella Bettineschi transposes her portraits into our contemporary world, while the gaze of the great painters –all male– on their female subjects is reversed, and they reclaim their condition as subjects through this feminist gesture. "I like to collaborate with contemporary artists because they tackle issues that, in one way or another, directly affect us as women", Maria Grazia Chiuri explained in an interview for Numéro art. Indeed, in her collections she never ceases to rethink womenswear through the prism of a delicate and pragmatic femininity.
This season, Maria Grazia Chiuri's approach to the relationship between the body and the clothes, and their protective function, took on a new dimension with technological innovations developed by D-Air Lab, the Italian start-up founded in 2015. The iconic Bar jacket, created in 1947, revealed its extraordinary construction thanks to a web of luminescent coloured veins that maintains body temperature. Then, Maria Grazia Chiuri's iconic pieces were reinvented in a completely novel mishmash of historical and sportswear references. For example, a pair of jacquard trousers with a down jacket and Formula 1 gloves, a padded motorbike jacket with a grey wool midi skirt, a bar suit made up of an ultra-fitted jacket and leggings with technological ribbing, or an evening dress protected by a corset and visible shoulder pads. Here, brocades, embroidered knits and precious lace were combined with masculine greys, technical knits or waterproof nylon fabrics. This very complex Dior fall-winter 2022-2023 collection drew on the past to create the wardrobe of tomorrow.