In any given year, Vogue fashion editors would have spent the month of May travel-ling around the world to some of the most spectacular locations, to attend the cruise shows. Last year, Vogue India’s junior fashion editor Ria Kamat switched three flights for a 48-hour excursion to Marrakech to watch Maria Grazia Chiuri’s third cruise collection at Dior come to life at the Palais El Badi. While in 2018, fashion editors, including myself, crisscrossed France to experience the shows. In the fashion calendar, travelling for a cruise was a given.
But 2020 as we know it has been a year like no other. Given the strict lockdowns that were imposed in most parts of the world, the shows were postponed to July, with many of the major houses pivoting to digital showings. But in June, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pietro Beccari, chairman and CEO, Christian Dior Couture, held a virtual press conference announcing Dior’s return to the live fashion show, post-digital offerings for couture.
So, on a monsoon July day in Mumbai (rain seems to be a given during Dior cruise—the shows in Chantilly and Blenheim Palace were famously rained on; fortunately it wasn’t the case in Lecce), I changed into my best pyjamas to watch the Resort 2021 show, live from Lecce, Puglia. After Marrakech, Morocco, Canyon Open Space Preserve in Calabasas, California, and the Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England, Chiuri, whose father hails from Puglia, picked a destination close to her heart. Given how Italy had been an epicentre for COVID-19, Grazia Chiuri’s choice of location also sent an important message to the world, signalling that the country was getting back on its feet.
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