Today, Dior will present it's fall-winter 2013-2014 ready-to-wear show in Moscow's Red Square. To mark the occasion, all this week, DiorMag accompanies the house in Russia and recounts a strong shared history.
It's the story of a man who crosses Russia, from Moscow to Irkutsk, to warn the Tsar's brother of the Tartar invasion. Both love story and epic novel, the book is Michel Strogoff by Jules Verne, and it sat by the bedside of a young Christian Dior as he dreamt of adventures like any boy his age and, through literature, lost himself on the wild Siberian plains. Dior and Russia begins there: in Granville, in the house Christian's parents owned on the Normandy coast, in the hours after nightfall, when he was unable to stop reading about the journey of the Tsar's messenger, lost in wonderment before the engravings by Jules-Descartes Férat that brought this beautiful illustrated tome to life. During this same period, all of Paris had fallen under the spell of Russia. The Ballets Russes was triumphing at the Théâtre du Châtelet, and then at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, only meters from what would laer become the house of Dior, at 30, Avenue Montaigne. And the most important members of the Romanov royal court came to spend long months in Paris where they threw splendid balls. The grandeur of Russia had a strong grip on people's imaginations, beginning with that of the young Christian Dior.
Later, it was another aesthetic that would attract the future couturier's attention: that of Russian constructivism. And in 1931, already an art gallerist at the fresh age of twenty-six, Christian Dior went to Russia, drawn by the work of Alexandre Rodtchenko that he'd seen at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris a few years earlier. In Moscow, passionate about architecture as he was, he discovered avant-garde buildings and urbanism on a massive scale.
Having become a couturier, Christian Dior remained profoundly marked by these two visions of Russia. His dresses carried names like Prince Igor , Douchka , Caspienne , Caviar and Stravinsky ; and the architectural construction of his tailoring recalled the rigor of Russian modernism.
In 1959, for the first time, a foreign fashion show took place in Moscow and, naturally, it was of a Dior collection. You'll have the chance to find out all about it in DiorMag tomorrow. The make-up side of the house has also felt the call of Russia. In 1974, in answer to a request from the Soviet studios Mosfilm, the house of Dior created Visiora , a line of make-up adapted to the specific requirements of Russian movies shot on uniquely sensitive film stock that necessitated make-up adapted for optimal color definition.
In 2006, Sharon Stone cut the ribbon at the official opening of the boutique in GUM, the most famous of the grand Moscow shopping malls. In 2011, at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, all of Moscow turned out to see the exhibition Inspiration Dior , an extraordinary retrospective in which the house's haute couture creations, from the New Look to the modern day, formed a dialogue with the art works in the museum's permanent collections, from Francisco José de Goya to Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh to Amedeo Modigliani.
This long love story that joins Russia and the house of Dior continues apace. And it's being written in Russian too, which, from today, becomes the fifth language of DiorMag.