DIORMAG

22 July
Heritage

Granville: Inspirations

The House's contemporary creations are enriched by Christian Dior’s memories of childhood at Granville.

The young Christian grew up in the villa and garden known as Les Rhumbs, open to the elements on the top of a cliff. The indelible impression that these places left on his future work was something he would evoke many times. Built in the late-19th century, the Villa Les Rhumbs owes its name to a navigational term referring to the thirty two directions delineated by the wind rose. This emblem can be found on the tiled floor of the study’s bow window and, today, in the Rose des Vents jewelry collection designed by Victoire de Castellane. The Creative Director takes us on a voyage at the mercy of the four winds through her designs. In them she mixes several codes dear to Monsieur Dior: the rose, his favorite flower, the wind rose and the star, the couturier’s lucky charm. Necklaces and bracelets in white, yellow or rose gold are garlanded with rose des vents in mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli, turquoise, onyx, pink opal. Lastly, a twist of gold rice grains, recalling marine rigging, encircles the medallion. In homage to Christian Dior’s Normandy childhood, Victoire de Castellane also created the Granville fine jewelry collection, rich with the dazzling colors of the villa’s garden, as if stickers were put together spontaneously, without any preconceived constraints," the designer explains.

The Normandy town in which Monsieur Dior was born also inspired François Demachy, Dior's exclusive perfumer-creator, to produce a cologne that forms part of La Collection Privée Christian Dior. Also named Granville, it evokes the salty air that Christian Dior breathed each morning: fresh, bracing, aromatic, with powerful and reinvigorating notes, it’s the smell of the forest and the maritime pines combined with camellias, wisteria, reseda, roses and heliotropes.

22 July
Savoir Faire

Savoir-faire of the Runway Bag

The Runway is produced in Italy, at the center of a region where leatherworking has a history rooted in passion. Discover all about how it’s made.  

Our bag is made by hand in a location a few kilometers outside Florence according to artisanal techniques particular to the savoir-faire inherent in leatherworking, such as the manual production of the handles and the assembly of the bag around a wooden form.

The next step is the cannage, the graphic grid derived from the motif of the Napoleon III style of wicker-detailed chair chosen by Christian Dior to seat his guests at the fashion shows presented in the salons at 30 Avenue Montaigne. Next is the assembly. The artisan starts with the handles, which have been specially developed to fold by following the shape of the bag and offer the maximum comfort thanks to their cork base. He glues the leather to the two handles, then trims the sides of the skin to fold down the edges, using a tool with a pointed tip to precisely place the leather and accentuate the curve of the handles. Finally, he lightly taps the construction with a round-headed hammer and makes the holes for the stitching by hand.

The Runway is then assembled around a wooden form shaped to its exact measurements. This is a very delicate step because it’s here that all the lines of cannage have to properly line up and meet perfectly on the bag’s three parts. First, the sides are reinforced with a strip of leather as their junction with the body of the bag marks the point of greatest stress. Then the metal pieces are added to hold together and embellish the bag: the eyelets, the feet, the strap attachments, and the charms spelling out the Dior name in gilt brass. As the bag moves, the four letters reveal the “Christian Dior” embossed as a gold ribbon on a circle of leather.

All told, making the House’s new bag will have necessitated some one hundred and fifteen elements.

21 July
latest news

Runway

Having made its debut in the ready-to-wear autumn-winter 2016-2017 show, the Runway has finally arrived in stores. 

Its architectural lines represent the Paris design studio at 30 Avenue Montaigne meeting incomparable Italian leatherworking savoir-faire. A short and wide strap allows for it to be worn two ways: on the shoulder it gives a sense of sophisticated allure, and when carried it adds further nonchalance to a relaxed look. The Runway also exists in several versions.  Entirely embroidered with beads and sequins, in ponyskin, precious leathers, or bearing the emblematic cannage motif, the House's new bag offers as many possibilities as there are women’s personalities. 

21 July
Savoir Faire

The Granville Rose

At the heart of Dior Prestige skincare, the Granville rose brings its incredible life force to women’s skin. Discover its story.  

From 1906, the date of the Dior family's arrival at their Granville villa, Madeleine, Christian Dior’s mother, set about protecting her property from the salty sea winds by erecting walls around her garden. A terrace overlooking the sea was created running the length of the walls, with a well-protected pergola below and, through a doorway of box hedging, a rose garden.

The cliff face beyond the protected garden has long been home to a wild rose with extraordinary powers of survival. In the face of the havoc wrought by the wind and the endless onslaught of the sea spray, it manages to thrive and bloom regardless.

In order to harness its powers, Dior had to domesticate it. The House called on the talents of a renowned horticulturist, a major specialist in old French roses: Jérôme Rateau. After ten years of work and seven generations of cross breeding, the original rose’s genetic heritage had been increased a hundredfold, its strength and vital properties maximized. This laborious undertaking resulted in the Granville rose, a variety boasting a vital energy two times greater than a classic rose. Its regenerative powers are distilled in the Dior Prestige skincare line. And as Christian Dior observed, “The Dior woman is a queen. The rose is the queen of flowers.”  

21 July
Heritage

Granville: The Dior Palette

From the pink and gray of the villa to the striking hues of the garden flowers, the Granville colors became Christian Dior’s go-to colors of choice for his creations.

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Laziz Hamani

Pink and gray have become the two colors of reference for Dior. For the couturier, this duo brought back memories of his childhood home: a mix of gray gravel ground and soft pink roughcast walls. The House's fundamental codes come therefore from Granville, like one of Proust’s madeleines:  the love of flowers passed on by his mother, the exoticism of the murals in the Les Rhumbs’ hallway.

In his Little Dictionary of Fashion, Christian Dior writes of pink as the color of happiness and femininity. In his collections he baptized and named all its shades: “porcelain pink”, “whisper pink”, “French pink”, “frost pink”, “boreal pink”, “dusky pink”, “pale cloud pink” For the couturier, gray was neutral and practical, elegant in all materials, such as tweed, wool and flannel, and the color he used everywhere in the decoration of his hôtel particulier at 30 Avenue Montaigne. Every shade of gray is cited in his collection programmes: moth gray” to “castle gray”, and whisper gray” to “daybreak gray”.

Like a common thread, colors and flowers inspire and characterize a collection. From the New Look years, the House took pleasure in communicating through the materials and the shades of blues, greens, yellows, rusts, blacks, and, of course, the Dior reds. The Diablesse dress in “Satan red” wool set the tone! Christian Dior saw flowers as an inspirational laboratory of ideas for his creations not only in terms of color, embroideries and prints, but also the architecture of the designs themselves, as in the Corolle skirt or the Muguet line. The focus is placed on the flower petals of the Rose Rose design, whereas the poppy gives its color sprinkled with violet  to the Avril dress. For the couturier, “each new collection is like a new springtime in which the pieces of fabric are like young shoots”.

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