Dior‘s unassailable virtuosity and artisanal ingenuity has withstood the test of time, as the brand’s ateliers consistently prove how their handiwork remains in the upper echelons of craftsmanship. For the Cruise 2021 collection, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri staged a glittering spectacle at the Piazza del Duomo in Lecce, a city in Puglia renowned for its baroque buildings. Amidst a luminous backdrop of architectural proportions, the proceeding cavalcade of garments paid homage to the sartorial legacy of the city.
Dresses were adorned with a traditional embroidery technique called Tombolo lace, which is native to the Puglian region, having been invented in the 15th century before spreading throughout Europe in the 16th century. Extremely delicate in nature, this motif is in danger of becoming extinct due to the meticulous complexity of its application process. However, Maria Grazia Chiuri tapped one of the last known Tombolo lace artisans, Marilena Sparasci, for a collection that celebrates traditional Italian artistry and a niche embellishment that exudes opulence.
This technique was used on various garments in the collection, most notably in flower and butterfly motifs applied to breathtaking gowns. By resuscitating an ancestral savoir-faire, Dior’s adoption of Tombolo lace proves the capabilities of their ateliers, while also showcasing a cultural heritage unique to fashion’s history.
Get a closer look at the delicate Tombolo lace in the film below.