Radical Artist Judy Chicago Is Designing Dior’s Next Couture Show Space

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Christian Dior AW19 Haute Couture Penny Slinger Maria Grazia
Christian Dior Autumn/Winter 2019 Haute CouturePhotography by Inès Manai, Courtesy of Christian Dior

In an installation which will remain open to the public after the show, The Female Divine sees Chicago explore “the roles and power relationships that determine, through the lens of gender, the way we live together today”

Maria Grazia Chiuri has tapped radical feminist artist Judy Chicago to design an immersive set for Dior’s upcoming Haute Couture show, which will take place in the Rodin Museum in Paris at the end of this month. The set – which will remain open to members of the public after the show – promises a runway festooned with thousands of flowers in bloom, above which a goddess-like figure will peer down. Titled The Female Divine, the installation is also set to feature banners crafted by female students in India, which will be emblazoned with questions such as, ‘what if women ruled the world?’

Chicago, the 80-year-old artist, author and educator, is best known for two era-defining endeavours: founding the first ever feminist art programme at California State University in the early 1970s, and her groundbreaking installation The Dinner Party – a table with ceramic place settings inscribed with names of some of history’s most prominent women, from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Virginia Woolf. Speaking to AnOther in 2018 about pyrotechnics, toxic masculinity, and her groundbreaking work, Chicago said: ”nobody seemed to be able to see what I could see at the time. Toxic masculinity is now a global phenomenon. It’s a function of patriarchal control, and it’s a way – you can call it mass terrorism – of keeping women in line.”

This is not the first time Chiuri has collaborated with female artists for a show. Since the start of her tenure at Dior – which marked her as the French house’s first female creative director – the Italian designer has consistently celebrated strong women, weaving their art, lives and voices into each collection. Most recently, her beautiful S/S20 collection celebrated Christian Dior’s war-hero sister, Catherine, and in June of last year, for her A/W19 Haute Couture show, Chuiri worked alongside British feminist artist and Another Man contributor Penny Slinger. Chuiri has also worked with American artist Mickalene Thomas, and has previously referenced the works of feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, art historian Linda Nochlin, and artist Niki de Saint Phalle, as well as paying homage to the rebellious Teddy Girls of the 1950s in her A/W19 collection

“Judy Chicago invites us to reconsider the roles and power relationships that determine, through the lens of gender, the way we live together today,” read a statement from Dior this morning. After its reveal at the S/S20 Haute Couture show later this month, The Female Divine will be open to members of the public from January 21 – 26, 2020.