Maria Grazia Chiuri’s latest couture collection was backdropped by the work of Marta Roberti, conjuring goddess-inspired glamor and a oneness with the natural world

In artist Marta Roberti’s universe, humans interact with their fellow animals—sometimes forming creatures that fuse female heads with birds’ bodies, or female bodies with an ox’s head. They’re the kinds of beings one might imagine roaming around the gardens of Paris’s Musée Rodin, where Dior presented its Fall 2023 Couture collection.

Roberti’s whimsical world, populated by magical trees and graceful birds, served as the backdrop to the French maison’s latest show. Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri gravitated towards the Italian artist’s work because its themes of fantasy, female empowerment, and beauty align with her own vision for Fall 2023—starting with creamy, goddess-like gowns in a range of silhouettes, from Christian Dior’s signature cinched Bar jacket, to a resort-friendly kaftan, to a minimal column dress adorned with a cape.

Roberti’s creatures would feel perfectly at home between the winding vines delicately embroidered on a gilded gown, or on a breezy chiffon number. It was simplified, understated glamor—a nod to quiet luxury, perhaps?—that Chiuri brought to the table, suitable to both Old Hollywood (several of the looks are Dior revivals from the ’60s) and Roberti’s flora-and-fauna-filled fantasy.

According to Dior, Roberti’s installation is “a tribute to these goddesses, supreme forces who governed the universe, divine mothers often accompanied by leopards, bulls, snakes and other animals. A vision of art and life, where the fundamental aim is not to conquer and plunder, but to cultivate the land and provide the material and spiritual necessities for a dignified life.”