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Inflatable textile art shown by Dior in Paris

Swatches | May 1, 2023 | By:

The inflatable artwork, containing 25 components, was produced in collaboration with Dior, Paris. It is made of 20 different Dior fabrics, woolen crochet, ornamentation, LEDs, and polyester. It measures 24 meters by 21 meters by 6.8 meters (78.7 feet by 68.9 feet by 22 feet) and weighs more than a ton. Photos: © Lionel Balteiro for Atelier Joana Vasconcelos

In partnership with Dior, Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos created the site-specific textile structure Valkyrie Miss Dior to present 20 fabrics from the fashion company’s autumn/winter 2023–2024 collection during Paris Fashion Week. The models walked through the giant fabric artwork as they showcased the season’s featured clothing. 

“I developed this installation not only to integrate the fabrics but also to fill up the space, interacting with the models and the public,” Vasconcelos says. “This interaction gives meaning to the whole project, exploring the triple relationship between monumental sculpture, human bodies and inhabited clothing, almost like a kind of sculptural dance. Creating a connection between two worlds—visual arts and fashion.”

The sculpture, which hung from the ceiling, is composed of a central nucleus with multiple tentacles emanating from it. 

Vasconcelos named the work after Christian Dior’s muse, his sister, Catherine, aka Miss Dior, who joined the French Resistance and survived a concentration camp. 

Other historical figures featured among the artist’s past work include Elizabeth “Mum Bett” Freeman, for the MassArt Art Museum in Boston, and fourth-century pilgrim Egeria, for Bilbao’s Guggenheim. 

Some of the clothing pieces in this featured collection were re-created from Dior’s 1947 initial product line. What happens with the sculpture next is yet to be determined.

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