The Inside Story Behind Dior’s Newest Runway Set Design

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A 500-meter-long runway, 400 lights, 200 fireworks, and 55 musicians. One would possibly assume that these numbers seize each gorgeous ingredient that made Dior’s newest cruise present—positioned in Athens, Greece—a hit. And but, to take action could be to miss the inventive focus that was the set design’s becoming linchpin. That visible effort might have first stemmed from the thoughts of inventive director Maria Grazia Chiuri, nevertheless it was Roman artist Pietro Ruffo who helped deliver it to true, detail-oriented, life. 

Ruffo, a extra current collaborator of Chiuri, has been making monumental works out of exact cut-paper parts for years. The duality of his works—which steadiness large-scale ultimate outcomes with small, rigorously wrought particulars, naturally dovetails with Chiuri’s Dior oeuvre so far. In spite of everything, whereas sticking with comparatively constant silhouettes, the designer has produced assortment after assortment that make glorious use of magnificent embroidery, floral appliqués, and extra. 

Ruffo’s precept contribution to the set design for this present was 72 large-scale flags. Fluttering atop the crown of the Panathenaic Stadium, every ultimate textile product was as daring in its monolithic form because it was mesmerizing in its floor patterns. For starters, the flags depicted caryatids, female-shaped columns mostly related to the Erechtheion of the close by Acropolis. All of the flags have been additionally rendered in a polychromatic shade scheme that was typical of the traditional world. (Colourful paints have, sadly, not stood the check of time, nor have their sturdy marble understructures.)  

The complete stadium setting for the Dior Cruise 2022 present.

Photograph: George Messaritakis

For Ruffo, the situation of this version of the peripatetic cruise present is particularly significant. “Greece is de facto elementary for me—the pureness, the truth,” explains the artist, referencing his preliminary coaching as an architect. At present, Ruffo’s work additionally usually hinges on the research of various locations, and he has been recognized to contain using maps in his personal practices. 

All through the whole course of, no element was too small to miss. For instance, the variety of flags was meant to correspond with the variety of amphorae that the winner of previous historical video games historically obtained. (Apparently, the Panathenaic Stadium was additionally the location of the primary fashionable Olympic Video games in 1896.) 

The expertise was additionally full of inventive firsts. After touching down in Greece, Ruffo met Chiuri on the inspiring Museum of Cycladic Artwork. Notably, a print of his additionally appeared within the sportswear ensembles of the gathering, and he sat in on one among Chiuri’s ultimate preparatory fittings. Ruffo admits, although, that when it got here to the set design, one potential catastrophe was narrowly averted: Simply days earlier than the present, a storm blew in and critically ruffled the flags, which have been, fortunately, capable of be mounted. In the long run, Ruffo displays, “Every little thing was simply fantastic.”

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