Christian Dior’s Marrakech Cruise Show 2019
The innovative use of wax printed fabrics in the collection was the key element for this collection. Dior’s designer Maria Grazia Chiuri first got the idea after reading Wax & Co, a brilliant history of the material written by Anne Grosfilley.
A doctor of anthropology, Grosfilley is a specialist in African textiles and fashions, and a noted curator. Grosfilley has published, among other works, African Wax Print Textiles (Edisud, 2004), Textiles d’Afrique, entre tradition et modernité (Point de vues, 2006), L’abécédaire du wax (Grandir, 2015), and Wax, 500 tissus (La Martinière, 2019), due out later this month.
Thanks to Grosfilley, Chiuri was able to connect with authentic wax printers in Africa. The pair travelled together to Abidjan, on the Ivory Coast, where the French author introduced the Italian designer to Jean-Louis Menudier and Uniwax, the only company that does wax printing with the traditional methods and using local African cotton.
Grosfilley’s work underlines the language of patterns in wax printing. Thanks to her, Dior was able to take its classical fabrics like toile de jouy into a new dimension. So, we caught up with Grosfilley for a discussion on this novel partnership between African and European designs and designers.
In a interview with Fashion Network, Anne Grosfilley told that: “the starting point was realizing that this fabric was a global fabric. It has a unique origin at the end of the 19th century – involving Asia, Europe and Africa. A perfect starting point for an anthropologist to study the connection between cultures and how different cultures alternate and can mix together to become new elements of languages. Historically, it evolved from Indonesian batik techniques. That was the inspiration, which was brought to Europe and industrialized by Dutch merchants, before being then developed in Africa, where it became an element of local language.”
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