When Seasons Change........
Inspiration from Christian Dior Cruise Collection 2021
Driving through the beautiful Kent countryside, I noticed that the leaves have already begun to fall and the colours of the tree canopy was beginning to phase from verdant greens to the yellows and rusts of the Autumn months. I always get excited at this cusp of change from one season to another and I always love looking at what my favourite designers are creating as inspiration for my new makes. Christian Dior is a real love of mine, for the craft, heritage and the romance and I especially love what Maria Grazia Chiuri designs for the iconic fashion house.
The Cruise 2021 collection was inspired by the Puglian landscape, flora and fauna and the religious luminarie traditions of the region. The prints, embroideries and embellishments were inspired by cycles of nature and lunar cycles. I love how multi layered the inspiration is and the collections by Dior never fail to inspire me. I picked out the elements that were the most beautiful to me and went to my wardrobe to see what pieces I had that I could use to re create a little of this Dior magic for myself.
I loved this poppy strewn coat worn over a delicately embroidered lace dress. I found a Liberty of London Tana Lawn print from the new fabric collection called Poppy Amelie. It's not suitable for a coat, which I probably wouldn't wear if I really think about it, but it would make a beautiful dress. And perhaps I'd wear it over a lace shirt which I embroider delicate sprigs of wildflowers over..... And I found my vintage millinery poppy which I will wear too.
I thought it was fabulous that dresses were worn over crisp white shirts and it's such a good way of styling Summer pieces for the colder days ahead. It's a great way to extend and get more wear out of your clothes and is a sustainable way of creating your style. I'd never thought to do this but it's going to be my thing from now on! I styled this old H&M dress over a vintage Christian Dior shirt and put a butterfly brooch at the collar, to experiment with the idea. I may not wear this particular dress but I do love the idea of making a fit & flare dress to work this look into my Autumn wardrobe. The print of this dress is very similar to one of the Dior prints used in the collection inspired by Puglian wildflower meadows and also another Liberty of London print called Wild Flowers.
I may not walk around with a tote bag filled with ears of wheat but I will be wearing my vintage Italian army jacket from my lovely friends sustainable label, Hulahan.
The lace butterflies are a traditional method of extra fine lace making practised throughout Italy called called Tombole. I saw a similar lace in Burano when I visited Venice last year, but for the life of me I couldn't find the lace butterflies I bought for myself there!
The Edwardian style dresses and cutwork fabrics with fringing were incredibly beautiful and I'm on the look out for a lovely broderie anglais to make myself a new Nina Lee Bloomsbury blouse. I've made a few in Liberty prints and love them, so a lacey style one will be a wonderful way of infusing my Autumn wardrobe with a bit of Dior magic. I love how the delicate pieces were given an edge with tough looking leather accessories. And the focus on a cinched in waist with leather belts and corsetry is perfect for me! Add wide leather belts to my shopping list!
While the weather stays mellow, I'll continue to use my raffia embroidered straw bag that I swapped for a blouse I had made with a friend. People stop me in the street to ask me where I got it! As the weather cools, I'll need to get a new bag and I'm already looking in charity shops for something suitable.
Tiered skirts were a plenty in this collection and I'll be making at least another Calypso skirt, but possibly out of some kind of soft jacquard and a matching sleeveless version of my pattern of the year, McCall's 7900 would be a wonderful Autumn outfit. Again, a crisp white shirt worn underneath is perfect cooler weather styling.
One of the things, the designer was hoping to achieve with this collection was to find comfort in turning to elements of magic and weaving it through the clothes. And I realise that that is EXACTLY why I love to make my clothes. In every stitch, I'm creating a little magic, weaving a dream, conjuring something from the air! There is an extraordinary power in the craft of making. And I am eternally grateful to have it in my life.
I can see I'm going to be very busy over the last few weeks of Summer adding transitional pieces inspired by this beautiful collection to my wardrobe. And I hope I've given you a little inspiration too?
And then, it won't be long before I can smell the wood smoke on the crisp Autumnal breeze and Summer will seem a hazy golden dream.
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