Tarot cards are among the keys to accessing the magical realm, to explore the unknown while fearlessly looking deep inside oneself. Maria Grazia Chiuri immediately felt a connection with these imaginary worlds and this visual language whose symbolic lexicon is rich in complex and fascinating characters. In uncertain times marked by a palpable desire to reconnect with the world’s soul, Maria Grazia Chiuri wished to explore, through the spring-summer 2021 haute couture collection, the mysterious and pluralistic beauty of the tarot in a series of dresses featuring virtuoso constructions; manifest proof that couture remains the ultimate territory of experimentation and possibility.
In his staging of these haute couture creations, Matteo Garrone, one of Italy’s most high-profile directors, builds on the narrative iconography by drawing on the visual force of the Visconti-Sforza tarot. Decorated by the illuminator Bonifacio Bembo for the Duke of Milan in the 15th century, this tarot deck illustrates the marvelous tale of this collection. Splendid cards embellished in gold, enamel, and vegetal and geometric interlacing have a solemn and enigmatic presence, revealing an inner journey, like an adventure of self-discovery. A voyage to the heart of a castle populated by characters embodying the major arcana who question and disorient, inviting the viewer to look at the world from a new perspective. In the director’s interpretation, this quest surpasses gender boundaries, presenting a synthesis of masculine and feminine in a new heraldic mythology evoking the enchanted worlds Matteo Garrone loves.