Saks Fifth Avenue is making the most of its eight-day lead on selling the launch of Dior’s 2020 cruise collection. The retailer said Dior artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri was “deeply involved in the design process” of the six main windows of Saks’ Manhattan flagship, where members of the mannequin species flaunt Chiuri’s designs. Also in the picture are three-dimensional elephants, giraffes and cartoonish trees, all meant to evoke the African continent, which inspired the patterns of the cruise collection that Chiuri in April unveiled in Marrakech.
La Mort, a vertical book tote exclusive to Saks, is a new shape that launched on the Dior 2020 cruise collection runway, which was held on the site of the remains of the El Badi Palace.
Chiuri felt the tug of Morocco, just as the gentle breezes seduced Christian Dior. The founder of the Paris-based fashion house in 1951 began collaborating with Maison Joste Casablanca, a partnership that continued into the Seventies. Dior designed in Morocco a monochromatic homage and riffed on the pureness of white.
“Dior has always been an important partner for Saks and we’re thrilled to bring Maria Grazia’s vision to life in our iconic Fifth Avenue windows,” said Tracy Margolies, Saks’ chief merchant. “When we saw the incredible Dior cruise collection come down the runway in Marrakech, we knew we had to partner with the brand in a meaningful way. The exquisite designs and vibrant patterns will definitely resonate with our customers.”
Chiuri’s map of the world is borderless, she traverses different regions soaking in traditions and cultures, all in service to Dior’s savoir-faire. Chiuri has acknowledged that her heart was set on collaborating with artisans and artists of the African continent. For the cruise collection, she revisited in wax a new toile de Jouy. Reinterpreting the Dior codes with the Uniwax factory and studio, Chiuri wove scenes inspired by Africa into the fabric of a special edition that can be seen in Saks’ windows. For example, a long, white wool, fringed poncho covered with navy flowers and vines.
Other looks showcase patterns in varying degrees. A long gold coat with oversize butterflies is elegant, while a cotton wax Sauvage Bar jacket features a lion and snake amidst unruly foliage. The designs, which are repeated in several colors against elaborate backgrounds – along with a cotton wax Tarot skirt and La Force bustier short dress – capture the drama of the jungle.
A long claret-colored open sheer coat over a long pleated iridescent dress is cinched with Dior’s double-D belt of the season. On the back wall of each of the Saks windows, bursts of colorful light bulbs and gleaming brass shapes form circular motifs that look like the hot Marrakech sun beating down on the animals. The mannequins look cool and calm in Chiuri’s designs.