Dior’s Chiuri awarded Legion d’Honneur
Christian Dior couturier Maria Grazia Chiuri received the Legion d’Honneur for her contribution to fashion and feminism in an emotional ceremony Monday night.
“Even today I still feel like the curious girl who went to school in Rome to learn fashion design,” said Chiuri before pausing for 15 seconds to hold back her tears, her emotion igniting a wave of cheering among friends and family inside the Salon de Christian Dior in its historic headquarters on Avenue Montaigne.
Her former boss and fellow couturier Valentino Garavani joined Alber Elbaz, Anna Wintour, Ellen von Unwerth, a slew of Vogue editors and a gang of LVMH executives for the award ceremony.
“I’m very proud to present this award to Maria Grazia, not just because she a great designer for a French maison, but also because she represents a fervent idea of feminism. I believe we are both inspired by the same ambition to allow women to realize their potential,” said award-giver Marlène Schiappa, a French minister responsible for gender equality and the struggle against discrimination, who pinned the medal onto Chiuri.
“Today I see all the young woman who face study and work worries about themselves and how can they combine professional and personal lives. And I would like to send them a message to believe in themselves and follow their instincts,” said Chiuri dressed in an all-black combination of tuxedo suit and shirt over gold slingbacks.
Speaking in English, she thanked the “many personalities who wrote the history of fashion for whom I had the privilege to work,” mentioning the Fendi sisters; Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi; and Valentino.
“Thanks to him (Valentino) I learnt the centrality of couture, a complex universe with rules, and the real territory of experimentation and dreams where craftsmanship speaks,” she said.
Ending her speech with kind words for four executives: Giancarlo Giammetti, Bernard Arnault, Sidney Toledano and Pietro Beccari.
“Dior is a maison that represents femininity. I thank this house for giving me a voice to help women,” said Chiuri holding back tears again, before she praised her husband Paolo and children Nicolo and Rachele.
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