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Chanakya School of Craft x
Isabella Ducrot for Christian Dior


Chanakya International and its Creative Director, Karishma Swali unveil exceptional large-scale artworks with widely-celebrated visual artist Isabella Ducrot, on the occasion of the Dior Couture Spring-Summer 2024 show at Musée Rodin in Paris.

Commissioned by Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Director of Dior Women’s Lines, the monumental installation ‘Big Aura’ has been meticulously handcrafted by the female artisans at the Chanakya School of Craft and master artisans at the Chanakya ateliers using block-printing, hand-painting, hand-weaving, and basket-weaving techniques. Through her extensive travels, Isabella Ducrot cultivated a profound fascination with fabrics, gathering rare textiles of historical significance and incorporating them as foundational elements in her work. Intrigued by the inherent rhythm and rhyme found in these materials, the Neapolitan artist has dedicated herself to transforming these textiles into objects that symbolize the rhythmic essence of life.

Artisans from Chanakya School of Craft and Chanakya International employed a variety of handcraft techniques to amplify Ducrot's monumental installation, ‘Big Aura,’ transforming it into large-scale panels that serve as the backdrop for the Dior Couture Spring-Summer 2024 show.

Deliberately disproportionate to the body of an average human, the 23 dresses featured in ‘Big Aura’ are created using traditional hand-weaving, hand block-printing, and basket-weaving techniques. The dresses are layered by Chanakya’s artisans using ancestral hand embroidery techniques like badla: where a flat a flat metal thread is applied on the surface using a small embroidery needle; and tasseling, where organic tassels made of mohair wool are applied onto some of the dresses.

Special blocks are used in this process and subsequently refined through intricate hand-painting techniques. The resulting organic flow of lines, a signature element of Ducrot’s artistic style, gives rise to a monumental grid, drawing inspiration from the interwoven nature of warp and weft. These elements intersect, becoming a realm of boundless possibilities.