Christian Dior “Le Château du Tarot” Haute Couture by Aybuke Barkcin


Dear Shaded Viewers,

After a year of an unexpected pandemic, protests for climate change, racial justice movements, economic crisis… perhaps we can all use a tarot reading for 2021.

Maria Grazia Chiuri revealed her vision for the world famous haute couture line and it is pure escapism. When we mean escapism, we mean an escape to a land far far away. Completely detached from reality, one that bears life inside children’s books filled with fairytales about princesses, enchanted chateaus and whimsical creatures.

Her latest collection for Christian Dior Haute Couture explored the world of Tarot, entitled “Le Château du Tarot”. A story about a girl (played by Agnese Claisse) whose journey to find her self  leads through visiting various tarot characters. The short film, directed by Matteo Garrone is one of the best digital presentations I have seen so far in fashion weeks. Though the story could have used a few more actors of color, we have to give them credit for the beautiful storytelling, music and settings.

The collection was an interpretation of 15th century tarot cards illustrated by Bonifacio Bembo for the Duke of Milan featuring; medieval silhouettes, zodiac signs, empire necklines, opera coats… “I know that everybody’s obsessed with this crisis to be simple, to be more basic and functional. But couture is about uniqueness, craftsmanship and tradition, and if we don’t do that in couture, I think it’s really sad for the future of these traditions, because the risk is that we lose them” the designer said in an interview.

Perhaps not all of us are familiar with the world of Tarot, nor believe it. But when it comes to creating fairytales in a time when the reality is at crisis is a smart move. With this season, Maria Grazia taps into collective memory… a time in our childhood when we fell asleep listening to fairytales. Took us to places where no matter what happened, somebody always came to the rescue and the day was saved again.

We are all waiting to be rescued, but until that happens, it’s nice to escape for a little while and isn’t that why couture exists… to make us dream.

Aybuke Barkcin

Aybüke Barkçin is an art director, photographer, curator and writer that looks at fashion through the lens of political and societal dynamics. She completed her master's Creative Direction in POLIMODA, Italy and has a background in International Relations and Graphic Design. Her work can be found in her website: