Mariella Bettineschi’s feminist artworks survey guests at Dior A/W 2022 show

As guests gathered at Dior’s A/W 2022 womenswear show venue in Paris, sets of duplicated eyes stared down at them from the artworks of Mariella Bettineschi

Framed black & white artwork on red walls
Dior A/W 2022 show set, featuring artworks by Mariella Bettineschi
(Image credit: Kristen Pelou)

It wasn’t just red carpeted walls that lined Dior’s A/W 2022 show set in Paris, but staring sets of duplicated eyes. Women’s artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri often enlists a female artist to expound on her exploration of feminism, from Judy Chicago to Anna Paparatti, Claire Fontaine to Lucia Marcucci, and for A/W 2022 she collaborated with Italian artist Mariella Bettineschi. Her artworks take canonical female portraits from the 16th to the 19th centuries – such as Vermeer’s 1665 Girl with a Pearl Earring – and reimagine them with their eyes cut and surreally duplicated. As guests gathered on benches, so these eyes surveyed each sitter. 

1948-born Bettineschi uses the eye of the woman as a poignant socio-political feminist symbol, highlighting the moral judgement that conditions the actions of women. On the Dior A/W 2022 runway, gilded frames showcased Bettineschi’s works, tessellated around the walls of the show space – which resembled a traditional art gallery or the walls of a plush private residence – with multiple sets of eyes. This set-up added a triple layer of symbolism as the maison’s female models took to the catwalk, surveyed by women on walls, a live physical audience, and digital onlookers, viewing the show via live stream or through the scroll of social media. 

Dior A/W 2022: survey Mariella Bettineschi’s show set

White wall with central Dior picture frame

Façade of the Dior A/W 2022 show set in Paris

(Image credit: Kristen Pelou)

Pieces in the collection nodded to Bettineschi’s oeuvre – with the phrase ‘The Next Era', a reference to the name of the artist’s monograph – emblazoned on the sleeves of motocross gloves and biker jackets, the tongues of fierce boots and across sporty vest tops. As if protecting themselves from the stare of society, models sported tough leathers, padded American football-centric corsetry and bodysuits. 

For Chiuri ‘The Next Era' is one free from misogyny. Dior’s A/W 2022 show set – a continued collaboration with a femininst socio-political female artist – provided another symbolic step in the right direction. 

Red bench seating in room with framed photos

(Image credit: Kristen Pelou)

Black & white framed photos

(Image credit: Kristen Pelou)