06 / 09

Chanakya School of Craft x Madhvi Parekh & Manu Parekh for Christian Dior


Chanakya and its artistic director, Karishma Swali unveil exceptional large-scale artworks with the visual artist Marta Roberti on the occasion of Dior’s Fall-Winter 2024 Haute Couture show. Commissioned by Maria Grazia Chiuri, Artistic Director of Dior’s Women’s Collections, the crafted works bring out the connective potential of fibre art, invoking imagery of ancient goddesses and feminine energy to serve as the scenography of the Couture Show.

Chanakya School of Craft and the Chanakya Atelier collaborated with DIOR for the commission of a series of monumental textile artworks by award winning contemporary Indian Artists Madhvi and Manu Parekh, at the spring-summer 2022 Dior haute couture presentation in Paris. The works depict traditional Indian motifs and spiritual abstractions that celebrate the dichotomy between male and female, real and surreal, action and stillness. This conversation was the result of a year-long collaboration between Creative Director of Dior women’s collections Maria Grazia Chiuri and Karishma Swali. For this installation, Chiuri worked with art historians and curators Maria Alicata and Paola Ugolini.

Underscoring her creative dialogue with India and paying homage to the blurred lines between fine art and craft, Creative Director of Dior women’s collections Maria Grazia Chiuri brought together these two widely celebrated Indian artists using the language of embroidery, interpreted through meticulous artistry and textile techniques by Karishma Swali, at the ateliers of Chanakya and at the Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai.

Manu Parekh’s art constantly invites the viewer to travel through mental landscapes and spiritual abstractions, with a relentless commitment that makes him one of the most singular voices in contemporary Indian art. A laureate of the Indian Government’s prestigious Padma Shri (1992), Manu Parekh is among India's best-known modern artists and one of India’s most inventive painters. To interpret the art of Manu Parekh, meticulous attention was paid to creating layers revealing many hidden details that invite individual exploration. In the Chant series, raw threads were employed to create a feeling of vibration and energy. The other techniques used in the installation include couching and traditional Indian fine needle zardozi stitches to create a sfumato effect – a technique allowing tones and colours to blend gradually into one another, producing softened outlines or hazy forms.

“I am honoured to bring to life our collective vision with Maria Grazia Chiuri, Madhvi Parekh and Manu Parekh for this immersive experience, which frames the Dior haute couture presentation. Maria Grazia has always been a true champion for craft excellence, fostering and preserving indigenous master techniques from around the world, and we are so grateful for her collaboration and mentorship.”


Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior has consistently sought to collaborate with numerous women artists from around the world: dancers, choreographers, musicians, poets, photographers, filmmakers and visual artists. With this latest immersive experience, which interprets the artists’ paintings and renders them in exquisite embroidery and textile techniques, is a nod to the couture lineage of Dior in parallel with the rich heritage of Indian craftsmanship.

The women at the Chanakya School of Craft, were delighted to see their work on this global platform and to be a part of this iconic moment. They are grateful for this opportunity and are joyfully looking towards the next challenge.