The Dior Fall 2023 Bags Referenced Indian School Books

Here’s a clue: dig out your old, childhood animal charts.

P for Peacock, T for Tiger… The Dior 2023 Fall collection brought in a veritable jungle through the motifs of the collection, peering from behind foliage, celebrating the abundance of nature. This was Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s ode to India, and little did we know that our childhoods were nostalgically linked to it…

Showcased against the imposing Gateway of India in Mumbai this March, the co-ord sets, wallets, and arm candy such as the Dior Book Tote, Lady Dior, Lady D-Lite, wallets enjoyed a Mowgli-esque moment. The tiger from the animal chart was on the prowl in highlighter hues, walking across the Book Tote. As was the peacock and elephant with the slogan “L’Union Fait la Force” (French for “Unity is Strength”) running across it.

The Large Dior Book Tote, featuring sketches of the peacock, tiger, and elephant.
The tiger from the animal chart, that is an integral part of children's classrooms, makes a roaring presence on the Dior Fall 2023 bags.

The decidedly innocent renderings were complimented by the elaborate Toile de Jouy pattern—another reference to India, as the 18th-century design of landscapes and figures was first inspired by Chintz cottons exported from the country to Europe. Here, we witness the delicacy of line drawing, shading, and of emotion as seen in the image of the baby elephant with its mother. These delightful sketches were designed by Italian contemporary artist, Pietro Ruffo, who has previously worked with Maria Grazia Chiuri on multiple projects.

Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Director of Dior, with contemporary artist Pietro Ruffo, who created the Toile de Juoy designs.
An intricate rendering of a baby elephant with its mother, on a Dior bag.

Shining the spotlight on the range, Dior’s Fall 2023 collection navigates time, creative inspiration, and even age in an interesting way. Dior’s relationship with India goes back to 1955, when Monsieur Dior created the ‘Soirée de Lahore’ gown inspired by the sari—a one-shoulder ‘New Look’ dress with embroidery and beadwork on a soft gold palette.

In 1955, Monsieur Christian Dior designed the 'Soirée de Lahore' dress,
inspired by the sari.

In the Fall 2023 collection, there is a marked difference in the inspiration. In Maria Grazia Chiuri’s interpretation, we witness a continuation of the past and the present, between high art and everyday art. On a canvas of dailywear essentials, these motifs serve as a reminder that the quotidian and the glorified deserve equal footing.

Styles from the Dior Fall 2023 collection, showcased at the Gateway of India, Mumbai in March 2023.