19.03 DIOR OVER THE WORLD

MUST-SEE, AND MUCH MORE

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Windows, pop-up store, exhibition, café - one can get the whole Dior experience at Harrods until mid-April. A feast for the eyes, and for the other senses, too.

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On Brompton Road, the first burst of pleasure is a visual one. And one quickly adopts the wide-eyed wonder of children before the animated windows. All the enchantment of Christmas but yet, in this case, celebrating the arrival of spring. Inside, in the pop-up store, the Trianon gray walls outlined with white moldings transport the visitor directly to 30 Avenue Montaigne, and the soul of that historic boutique manifests itself unmistakably. The sensory pleasure continues with fondling fabrics, and the leathers and the tartans of the bags. But there's still more sensing to be done! On the fourth floor, the exhibition advances the experience: in a traditional London phone-box done over in the Parisian house's colors, the connection is made through smell. It's an olfactive cubicle, and its aim is not to directly perfume but to diffuse Miss Dior,   allowing it to waft subtly through the air. A little further on, the Dior café boasts a mixture of British inspirations and house codes: medallion-back chairs typical of the Dior decoration aesthetic, stately tableware and porcelain finely set with gray friezes. Christian Dior was a cultured gastronome, and also a man with a hearty appetite, as La Cuisine Cousue-Main,   his cookbook of favorite recipes attests. Be it a parfait of foie gras in Dom Pérignon jelly, a black truffle omelette, a sole meunière or scallops with crab butter, these favorite dishes of his have been specially reinterpreted for the Harrods event. Among the delicacies available to take out are teas - including a chypre creation that recalls the composition of Miss Dior   - and traditional English cupcakes decorated with house codes such as the Bar   suit, the Lady Dior   bag, and a J'adore   amphora.

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Next, upon leaving the café - after taking afternoon tea, perhaps - don't miss the mini theater of fashion. Amour, Caprice, Abandon … Their names resonate with an air of the kind of romantic adventures of which they would be the heroines. Veritable characters in the own right, the Dior dresses at Harrods are actresses in a unique kind of theater. Scaled-down to perfection by the petites mains   in the ateliers at 30 Avenue Montaigne - the same ones responsible for creating the full-size garments for the fashion shows - the house's emblematic creations are displayed treading the boards of a tiny theater, in the middle of a London department store. If offers a nod to both the "Théâtre de la Mode", a traveling exhibition that, in 1945 and 1946, meandered across Europe and the US to showcase the energy and creativity of French couture, and of the Fashion Theatre   launched by Harrods in 1953, and inaugurated with a Dior fashion show. Today, the excellence and the identity of the house is visible through every expression: the Corolle   line of 1947's Bar   jacket, the Dior red of the Arizona   coat from the following year; the pinks of theSchuman   and Aurore   dresses; the houndstooth and florescent draping of the first haute couture creations by Raf Simons… because even on miniature mannequins the Dior dream lives large. And once the experience it complete, all the senses will have been satisfied!

Dior at Harrods
87-135 Brompton Road
Knightsbridge
London

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