The Miss Dior exhibition running at the Grand Palais in Paris until November 25 pays homage to the house's intimate connection to the world of art. A story driven by passion that begins with Christian Dior and is continued today through the work of fifteen female artists.
Paris, 1928: almost twenty years before the opening of his house, the young Christian Dior had one ambition: to live out his passion for art. In the gallery he founded with two of his friends he exhibited the works of the biggest names of the period: Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Giorgio De Chirico, employing his intuition and artistic sense to recognize such promising talents as Alberto Giacometti, Alexander Calder and Salvador Dali. When he wasn't working at his gallery, the young man devoted himself to his personal art collection and spent time with his friends, the painter and illustrator Christian Bérard, the poet Jean Cocteau, and Salvador Dali and his wife Gala. When Christian Dior became a couturier, this passion for art visibly informed all his designs. Each one bore witness to an acute color sense and a quasi-architectural conception of form and shape. He baptized them with names such as Braque, Matisse, Mozart and Chopin , in homage to the great talents he so admired.
Today, in an expression of mutual influences, Christian Dior's heritage is inspiring fifteen women artists from around the world. As evidenced in the Miss Dior exhibition, they have reinterpreted the codes of the house's very first perfume with a contemporary zest. Thus the houndstooth, the iconic motif that graces the Miss Dior flacon, is revisited in a rainbow-colored carpet by the American artist Polly Apfelbaum, while the knot that wraps around the perfume bottle stopper inspired the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos to create a sensually curving sculpture. In other works, the cannage motif, the rose, the adverts by René Gruau, and Tim Walker's portrait of Natalie Portman give way to new and original interpretations. With this tribute exhibition, a new page has been written in the story uniting Dior and the artists of the world.