29 July

Diorever Seen By…

Seven personalities speak about their Diorever bag: the models Sofia Mechetner and Lucie de la Falaise, the writer Loulou Robert, stylist Karla Welch, actresses Hen Yanni and Lola Kirke, and the jewelry designer Sabine Getty – each one talking about herself, her vision of femininity and her definition of the word “ever”.

29 July

Versailles seen by Victoire de Castellane

The Creative Director Victoire de Castellane has designed Dior à Versailles, a new fine jewellery collection directly inspired by the decorative art in the Palace of the Sun King.

An earring recalls a tieback on the drapes in the royal apartments, while necklaces and rings evoke the elaborate woodwork of the Hall of Mirrors, a mirror frame or the palace's candelabras. The collection joyfully embraces 18th-century codes and mixes them with more contemporary ones. A rose-cut diamond is paired with white gold like the smooth meeting of two eras. Producing pieces that bring together several cuts and setting techniques in a single jewel required the collaboration of the finest workshops in Paris. But it was principally the mysterious and splendid soul of Versailles that Victoire de Castellane sought to capture: "I imagined Versailles by night, with its interior illuminated by candlelight that made the gemstones sparkle. The women are bejeweled, and if you listen closely you can almost hear the chime of silverware on porcelain!”

29 July

Versailles: Dior as Patron

In recognition of the close connection it enjoys with Versailles, the house of Dior regularly participes in the beautification and promotion of the palace through its patronage, as it’s doing right now by supporting the renovation of the Queen’s House and the Warming House, along with the Olafur Eliasson exhibition.

The house of Dior’s history as a patron of the Palace of Versailles began in 2011, when the Hall of Mirrors served as the setting for the campaign of the perfume J’adore. Three years later, an enormous work by the artist Pierre Delavie, featuring photographs of the House’s most emblematic designs in a décor of stonework and greenery, covered the Midi wing as it underwent an extensive restoration. “The placement of a Dior silhouette between two arcades of the Bosquet des Colonnades reveals a natural harmony. As if our collective consciousness expected to hear the rustle of the dresses on the pathways,” explains Pierre Delavie, the artist renowned for his monumental work, which notably covered the façade of the Grand Palais in Paris, and, more recently, the Dior Joaillerie boutique being transformed on Avenue Montaigne.

The links between Dior and Versailles have steadily deepened since. In 2015, the restoration work on the Queen’s House and the Warming House got underway thanks to the House’s patronage. Dior also supports contemporary exhibitions held at Versailles, such as Anish Kapoor last year, and, currently, Olafur Eliasson, whose works can be admired in the garden and inside the palace itself until October 30.

28 July

Versailles: Grand Bal

Christian Dior greatly admired the splendor and elegance of the festivities that took place at Versailles. Today, the House is inspired by the palace’s lavish balls in designing iconic creations, such as the Dior VIII Grand Bal watch, featuring in a new campaign, or the Grand Bal fragrance.

Parties are a necessity as they bring happiness,” wrote Christian Dior. Cherishing the moments of happiness and interaction with friends, the couturier-perfumer had a deep fascination for the fantastical soirées organized at the Palace of Versailles. From the head-turning dresses to the grandiose receptions, Christian Dior transposed this unique and festive spirit into his creations.

The Dior VIII Grand Bal watch, launched in 2011, is an invitation to celebrate time. Its singularity comes from its Dior Inversé caliber: the openworked oscillating weight of the automatic movement is placed on top of the dial to evoke the graceful twirl of a ball gown. Produced by the best craftspeople, in the prestigious workshops of La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, it is then decorated by hand. Feathers, lace, diamonds, silk, or mother-of-pearl are arranged like the flounces of a swirling skirt. The watch is a jewel that recalls the glittering parures and majestic celebrations held at Versailles. This year, the latest creation called Dior VIII Grand Bal Plissé adorns a diamond dial with a pink silk ribbon and an elegant black leather strap.

To extend this dance, the Grand Bal fragrance from La Collection Privée Christian Dior expresses the sweet headiness of a summer soirée. "Grand Bal is an echo of the splendid ball gowns of Christian Dior, its magnitude and beauty evoking the blooming petals of a jasmine flower. The scent of Grasse jasmine is unique, characterized by its multitude of facets and its breadth,” explains François Demachy, Dior’s exclusive perfumer-creator, who composed the fragrance to capture the spirit of the Versailles gala evenings.

28 July

Versailles: The Dior Golds

A symbol of refinement, richness and power, the gold that embellishes Versailles inspired Christian Dior in his day, and today is one of the House codes.

« Dior, this nimble genius unique to our age, whose magical name combines God and gold Dieu and or”. With these words, Jean Cocteau highlighted the connection between gold and the couturier’s creative universe. This exceptional element had immediately acquired a privileged position in the work of Christian Dior who regarded Versailles as an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Gold appeared from 1947 with the Aladin dress in champagne gold silk, and in 1949 with the dress Pactole. Apart from the material itself, it was the 18th-century luxury he admired, such as the meticulous application of gold leaf with a small brush. In his creations, Christian Dior made use of brocade and gold thread to draw attention to or elevate a detail. The Indienne dress of 1947 was also composed of gold embroideries and beading, while the dress Soirée Fleurie, in 1956, was described as being in “ivory satin embroidered with stars, and gold, silver and blue threads and broad plate”.

In a conference held at the Université de la Sorbonne in 1957, Christian Dior explained: “Ornament, though it has lost its symbolic value for us, remains an integral part of the dress, not an afterthough. Thus we find high-relief embroideries or gold or silver threads or beads studding a material as light as tulle.” The precious metal inspires the House’s creations today more than ever: it’s the color of the radiant perfume J'adore, like a shimmering silk to be worn on the skin; and it ran like a leitmotiv throughout the latest haute couture collection.

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