5th July 2021 : On the occasion of the Dior haute couture autumn-winter 2021-2022 show, presented at the Rodin Museum on July 5th, 2021, the House of Dior unveils an exceptional installation by artist Eva Jospin: a forty-meter-long immersive gallery, entirely hand-embroidered in India by the Chanakya atelier and Chanakya School of Craft, based on a unique drawing by the artist.Titled Chambre de Soie (Silk Room), the work nods both to the Indian-inspired Embroidery Room at the Palazzo Colonna in Rome and to Virginia Woolf’s feminist manifesto 'A Room of One’s Own.'
Known for her immersive cut-out cardboard landscapes, artist Eva Jospin discovered the Palazzo Colonna during her residency at the Villa Medici (the French Academy in Rome) in 2016. In the Embroidery Room, tropical “Indian-style” hangings – depicting monkeys, birds, and trees – are entirely covered, from floor to ceiling, in textiles hand-embroidered with gold and silk thread. For Dior, Eva Jospin in turn dreamed up a room with embroidered walls reprising one of her landscapes, in the manner of 19th-century panoramas.
A meeting with Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Director of Dior women’s collections, led Eva Jospin to the House of Dior, offering a glimpse of its constantly renewed and interweaving creative inspiration between France and Italy.
Since her arrival at Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has sought to collaborate with numerous women artists from around the world: dancers, choreographers, musicians, poets, photographers, filmmakers, and visual artists. Feminism and inclusiveness, the preservation of beauty and the diversity of nature as well as the transmission of savoir-faire are at the heart of creative dialogues centred on current issues. This new meeting thus celebrates exceptional artisanal crafts reinterpreted in a contemporary work.'
For her monumental creation – representing 350 square meters of embroidery – the master artisans from the Chanakya Atelier, known for preserving excellence in savoir-faire, and the Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai (by Monica Shah &Karishma Swali )worked for several months to meticulously realize this infinite landscape.
Located in Mumbai, India, Chanakya, a luxury textile and embroidery house founded in 1984 has made it possible, through the foundation in 2017 of its school – the Chanakya School of Craft – to offer women a new autonomy in local communities and preserve exceptional precious techniques. The students at this unique school learn the 700 craft skills required to become master artisans, a role that is traditionally reserved for men in India.
At the house of Chanakya and the Chanakya School of Craft, this project resonated deeply with their core values of cultural sustainability, craft preservation and inclusion. Over 150 variations of different embroidery techniques and over 400 shades of organic silk, linen, cotton and jute threads have been used to interpret different aspects of this landscape in great depth and detail to bring it to life.
The immense concentration of details continues throughout the entire exhibition, allowing viewers to venture inside the work in a literal sense. Woods, lianas, boulders and imaginary architectures are meticulously embroidered to compose a place conducive to reverie and wandering, like the follies found in Baroque gardens. The lexical field remains that of illusion, and a world – a room of one’s own.