The Dior cruise show took strong inspiration from traditional African wax fabrics and glass beads. Flowing gowns, shirts, two-pieces and suits all made from Kitenge fabric.
The opinions about the Dior cruise collection 2020 splits. Especially people coming from an African background, feel irritated about their use of the textile. The African wax print is spread on the whole continent and is a traditional garment for women, priced very low. So now, with Dior using the fabric, it suddenly is a high fashion textile, giving the traditional wax print a whole new meaning. A lot of African Designers have been trying this for many years, rebranding the traditional wax fabric and turning it to modern Fashion. Due to their lack of exposure, this never really reached the international market successfully. Now, Dior, a major high fashion brand, comes along an does something, African designers have been trying for years and ‘steals’ it away from them, by plagiarizing. Others think that precisely this is something to be praised. That Dior gave Africa a whole new opportunity to be seen and talked about and to recognize their rich culture in craftsmanship.
This is exactly what Dior claims. They didn’t use Africa as an inspiration, but their craftsmanship. Primarily utilizing the colour indigo, which is a part of the wax print. The colour is representing not only Denim but also the Dior Blue.
The Murine beads that were used, formerly come from Venice but moved to Africa for making Jewelry and embroidery.
Top model Adesuwa, speaks in an interview video for Diors Twitter Page, saying she is from Nigeria, and she personally doesn’t think it’s cultural appropriation, but the western world and the old world coming together to make something beautiful. Saying that when you do things like this, you’re starting a conversation, you’re bridging the gap.
By using these materials Maria Grazia, Diors Designer, and Creative Director wanted to show the quality and the talent of the African industry, and that there are people who have skills to make very luxurious, valuable, and high-quality products.
Adesuwa says: “It’s important to focus on the artistry. With events like this, it brings the spotlight to Africa… ”
Dior is a global brand, and with its Resort 2020 collection, they want to show that women all around the world can wear this code of Fashion.
Hopefully, this will inspire women to buy Fashion made from wax prints in the country it comes from, Africa.