As the exhibition Le Petit Théâtre Dior unveils its miniature creations next week in Chengdu, China, we take a look at the origins of this unusual project.
It's Paris, March 1945, and a few weeks after the armistice an exhibition is attracting the curious. A real homage to French haute couture, Le Petit Théâtre de la Mode brings together, in miniature form, the creations by the greatest couturiers of the period. Christian Dior, then working at Lucien Lelong - who was the project's originator - was most certainly behind several of the dresses on show. His friends Christian Bérard and Jean Cocteau also took part in the staging and the sets. The event was seen as an injection of fresh promise in a Paris blighted by the Second World War, a return to beauty, a veritable dose of sunlight.
Today, paying homage to the 1945 project, Le Petit Théâtre Dior sets off on a world tour and has chosen the city of Chengdu, in China, as the first stop. Twelve installations retrace the history of the House and present miniature versions of the Bar suit, the dresses Schuman, Muguet, Miss Dior and many more. Minutely sewn to the millimeter, they resemble the originals down to the tiniest detail. It's not just this exhibition that's heading off around the world, it's the Dior spirit that's traveling, too.