“The book represents the kaleidoscope of voices and visions that the house of Dior embodies today,” says Maria Grazia Chiuri of Her Dior, published by Rizzoli and out now.
This “living project,” as she describes it, brings together 160 images by groundbreaking women image-makers from around the world who have interpreted Chiuri’s work at Dior and represent a “multitude of ideas on femininity.” While, as Chiuri notes, “many voices are expressed” in the volume—among them Nan Goldin, Sarah Moon, Coco Capitán, Katerina Jebb, Zoë Ghertner, Sarah Waiswa, Kristin-Lee Moolman, Jodi Bieber and Bettina Rheims—“there are many more ways of understanding, apprehending and living one’s femininity… the naturalness of this conversation is important, [its] point of view is both intimate and open, free of judgment and paternalism.”
Since she was appointed as Dior’s first woman creative director in 2016, Chiuri has sought to reclaim the narrative of the 74-year-old couture house by creating fashions for women by women. That narrative extends beyond the clothes themselves into how they are communicated, from photography to conceptual design. For her fall 2019 collection, Chiuri invited Italian artist Bianca Menna—widely known by her male pseudonym Tomaso Binga, which she adopted in the 1970s and subsequently “married”—to design the set; Menna’s naked alphabet self-portraits spelling out one of her poems on the walls.
The following season’s haute couture show, meanwhile, took place in the “womb” of an inflatable mother goddess sculpture by Judy Chicago. Both artists have contributed words to Her Dior, as has Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose 2014 book title We Should All Be Feminists, inscribed on one of Chiuri’s T-shirts from her Dior debut, covers Her Dior in a photograph by Brigitte Niedermair.