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Dior, girl-power and Judy Chicago – we still can’t get over it
Together they ask us what would happen if women ruled the world
Art x Style 22 Jan 2020

The leading women of the art and fashion worlds came together this week to ask What If Women Ruled The World at the Dior Spring 2020 couture show in Paris. The project saw Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri team up with feminist art icon Judy Chicago to stage a show that paid homage to the female divine.

The whole show took place within a sculpture that Chicago initially proposed in the 1970s, during the height of the feminist movement. But her original plans were never actually realised, until now that is. Inflatable Mother Goddess landed in Paris at the Musee Rodin (of course), reminding us of the continued importance of girl-power in the 21st century. The work, which is shaped like a birth canal, functions both as an artwork, but also, a womb-shaped runway. Accompanying this, a series of embroidered banners lined the runway asking follow-on questions – to what would happen if women ruled the world – like Would there be violence? and Would the earth be protected? While Chicago and Dior don’t give us any answers, we’re pretty sure that if women did rule the world, it would be a better place indeed. And, to make the concept even better, these banners were made at Chanakya School of Craft, a non-profit in Mumbai, meaning that they were crafted ethically to improve the lives of the girls who made them.

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From this bird’s eye view of the Musée Rodin, discover the @Judy.Chicago installation, ‘The Female Divine’, due to be unveiled today at the #DiorCouture Spring-Summer 2020 show. At the invitation of @MariaGraziaChiuri, the artist designed a spectacular set reproducing an immense goddess figure that she originally designed in the 1970s, but was never produced. In the words of the Creative Director of Dior women’s collections, “fashion and its mediatization in the contemporary context constitutes a unique framework for the transmission of stories that goes beyond clothing”. The installation will be open to the public for one week following the presentation. #JudyChicago #DiorCouture #MariaGraziaChiuri #Dior #Salon94 #JessicaSilvermanGallery #goddess #thefemaledivine #whatifwomenruledtheworld

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Referencing Linda Nochlin’s seminal essay Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists, the Dior presentation continued Maria Grazia Chiuri’s long-term commitment to celebrating women, particularly those in the art world. Her previous collections have incorporated work from Georgia O’Keefe and Penny Slinger. The clothes themselves however, were much more subtle than her usual slogan tees. This time, Chiuri reminded us that women should be worshiped, with clothes inspired by classical depictions of goddesses. The models appeared like Greek and Roman sculptures in flowing gowns and golden accessories, with looks also incorporating the moon – an ancient symbol of femininity – and ears of wheat.

To top it all off, Dior flew out Katy Hessel of The Great Women Artists to takeover Dior’s Instagram stories, who let us know that the Queen (Judy Chicago) topped off the show by hosting a dinner party, in reference to probably her most famous artwork, where she invited women throughout history – from Boadicea to Emily Dickinson – to dinner, accompanied by plates of heavily decorated ceramic vulvas. Dior, girl-power and Judy Chicago, we still can’t get over it!

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