For thousands of years, Greece has served as a cultural center and a destination full of life and energy. As the locale for Dior’s Cruise 2022 show, it set the tone for a romantic return to form for Maria Grazia Chiuri. The creative director often looks back to past eras as a direct source of inspiration, and Athens’ Panathenaic Stadium served as a dramatic backdrop to a collection that touched on everything from classical statues and surrealist art to modern sportswear. The season’s direct inspiration came from a set of 1951 photos taken of a Dior Haute Couture collection near the Parthenon.
While Dior’s iconic tailored suits and nipped waists offer a contrasting femininity to the flowing, gauzy dresses of ancient Greece, here, Chiuri strikes a balance between the two. Cruise collections are meant to be tucked away into a suitcase and transported somewhere warm and breezy. That sentiment was felt throughout the June 17 show. As models made their way down the fire-lit runway — white dresses floating in the breeze and eyes adorned with pearls — the effect was ethereal, as well as a far cry from the dark, moody fall collection presented in March.
As the show progressed, the initial nod to the show’s locale was jolted with the introduction of bright yellows, blues, golds, and greens — relaxed sportswear separates that alluded to the games once held for the goddess Athena inside the same arena. But, it’s worth noting that these athletic pieces also make up another key element of what constitutes the ideal vacation wardrobe in modern times. As the world reopens and travel starts up again, packing the perfect party dress and a comfy pair of bike shorts are of equal importance.
Playing up that same dichotomy, Chiuri chose to keep accessories practical — white sneakers, tall rubber boots, and pointed booties were paired with both formal and casual wear, dressing down the tulle gowns, and grounding the logo-laden sport separates. Bags included structured duffels and totes, ideal for a weekend getaway or to take down to the beach.
Chiuri also often taps local artisans when holding shows overseas and, this season, she highlighted the work of a number of traditional craftspeople from the Peloponnese and beyond. Greek silk weaving, traditional fisherman’s caps, and even sketches from Greek artist Pietro Ruffo were incorporated into the collection to celebrate the artistry of the region.
Below, see more from the collection.