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On April 23, Dior hosted a fundraising gala with Venetian Heritage, an organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Venetian artwork and architecture. The dinner and concurrent concert celebrated the protection and promotion of the cultural heritage of Venice. Guests included Catherine Deneuve, Camille Cottin, Laetitia Casta, Maya Hawke, and Rosamund Pike, all of whom wore Dior.
The event, held at the Teatro La Fenice on the inaugural day of the Biennale, funded the restoration of the late Gothic Ca’ D’Oro palace on the Grand Canal. While Dior and Venetian Heritage celebrated their collaboration with a masked ball in 2019 at Palazzo Labia, they downscaled the 2022 planned ball to a dinner out of respect to the victims of the ongoing war in Ukraine. A portion of the proceeds from this cross-cultural celebration will benefit Ukrainian refugees in Italy.
The gala coincided with the opening of the 59th Venice Biennale, which has gained a new donor in Dior, as well. The show, “Milk of Dreams,” is curated by Cecilia Alemani, who is a friend of Pietro Beccari, the chairman and chief executive officer of Dior. Notably, some featured artists in the exhibition, like Tomaso Binga, have collaborated with Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of Dior womenswear, while others, like Carla Accardi, are among the artists whom Chiuri most admires.
Furthermore, Dior has commissioned the 82-year-old Venetian video artist Fabrizio Plessi to reinterpret its iconic Lady Dior handbag for the seventh edition of the brand’s Dior Lady Art project. Previously the house sponsored the artist’s 2020 installation “L’età dell’oro” (The Golden Age), flickering the windows of St. Mark’s Square in gold lights echoing the mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica. Plessi embellished the Lady Dior bag in 24-karat gold leaf forged in the Orsoni Venezia 1888 furnace; the flakes frame a screen which undulates the name “Dior,” as though projected on water. The work is as mobile as a bag and as spectacular as a sculpture, a galvanic synergy of art with fashion. His creation will be exhibited in Dior’s Venetian boutique.
Alemani conceived of this biennale as an exploration of metamorphic and non-anthropomorphic relations to human bodies and desires; the commitment and collaboration of Dior is a fitting tribute to the reinterpretation of past treasures within present forms.