In a special collaboration with the French House of Dior and using 20 fabrics from the Autumn/Winter 2023-2024 collection, Joana Vasconcelos has created a monumental site-specific textile structure for the show, entitled Valkyrie Miss Dior. The simultaneous presentation to the world took place on February 28, 2023, in the Jardin des Tuileries, in Paris.
Entirely handcrafted, the artwork measures approximately 24 meters long and seven meters tall, weighing more than a ton. Metamorphic in shape, it is composed of a central nucleus with multiple tentacular arms hanging from the ceiling, through which the models walk wearing the season's creations, in a dialogue between floral patterns, color and light. The shine of the silk and the elegance of the organza contrast with a multiplicity of textures, the exuberance of the prints and the richness of the details: intricate crochet elements, meticulous embroidery and a feast of ornaments, such as sequins, braids, tassels and hundreds of LED lights, which simulate an effect of vibration.
The invitation came from Maria Grazia Chiuri, the current Creative Director of the brand, renowned not only for her powerful feminist message but also for valuing manual savoir-faire and traditional artisanship. Italian-born, she recreated for this collection some of the initial patterns of the Maison created in 1947 by Christian Dior, who found a muse in his sister Ginette. Also known as Catherine or Miss Dior, she had a special preference for floral patterns. She worked as a florist and grew roses – strongly influenced by her parents Maurice and Madeleine Dior – to be used in fragrances. A woman of strong beliefs, she joined the French Resistance and survived a concentration camp. In her, Joana Vasconcelos recognized a female figure worthy of a tribute, as she does when choosing a name for her textile creations.
The artwork is composed of 25 elements and made from 20 different fabrics from Dior's ready-to-wear Fall Winter 2023-2024 collection.