The Sainte Catherine, Since 1947 | DIORMAG

29 November
Heritage

Interview with Stephen Jones

Unquestionably the most inventive and renowned hat designer working today, Stephen Jones, who will celebrate 20 years of millinery at Dior next year,  speaks to us about the Catherinettes and the Nicolas hats he designs for the house of Dior each year.

29 November
Heritage

Sainte Catherine: 2016

From the traditional group photo taken on the staircase at 30 Avenue Montaigne, to the Comité Montaigne hat contest and the fashion show at the Mairie de Paris, and on to the soirée held in the presence of Bernard Arnault, President of Christian Dior SA, Sidney Toledano, President & CEO of Christian Dior Couture, and the creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri, Victoire de Castellane and Kris Van Assche, relive the day enjoyed by the House’s Catherinettes and Nicolas last Friday.

29 November
Heritage

The Sainte Catherine, Since 1947

Last Friday, as is tradition in the world of Paris couture, the House celebrated the Sainte Catherine. We take a look at a delightful annual event that’s been observed at Dior since 1947.  

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Robert Doisneau/Rapho

It marks an unmissable date each year: on 25 November, the Parisian houses celebrate Sainte Catherine, the patron saint of dressmakers and milliners. And because she's also the protector of young women, tradition has it that all unmarried women of twenty-five are particularly celebrated that day, wearing a green hat (the color of hope and youth) and yellow (the color of family) that's been specially made for them.

Christian Dior was particularly attached to this tradition. He wished to do the hats for his House’s "Catherinettes", attended each event, taking care to exchange a few friendly words with everyone. In the ateliers, the festival was a big deal. In the greatest secrecy, the petites mains created sets and costumes around various themes. In 1947, for the House’s first Sainte Catherine, the town of Granville was the chosen theme, a nod to the couturier’s childhood. The tradition has continued ever since. Even if it has evolved – the festivities that take place today brings together all the employees, and we also celebrate the "Nicolas", young men unmarried by age thirty – the atmosphere that Christian Dior describes in his memoirs is still the same: "It’s the day when I feel the House’s heart beat. Nothing is more touching than the Sainte-Catherine. Nothing more cheerful, either."

27 November
latest news

Black Carpet: The Video

27 November
latest news

Black Carpet

Kris Van Assche, the Creative Director of Dior Homme, shakes up the suit’s codes in a new evening wear capsule collection for spring 2017. 

The idea of the Black Carpet collection was to convey the energy and rebel attitude of the runway collection in a capsule collection of evening wear while playing with the embellishment codes and know-how of Dior. Reworking the evening suit by pushing it to more extreme interpretations.” On wool jackets woven in noble motifs – houndstooth or Prince of Wales check – the Creative Director adds daubs of paint that also extend onto shirts in black or white cotton, creating a duality between the House’s traditional codes and a harder contemporary effect. This strong contrast is also underscored by the techniques used, such as the heavily wrinkled effect of cotton shirts, selvage made to look like a raw edge, or a scar that slashes through the satin lapels of tuxedo lapels revealing hand embroidery in the process. The House’s most precise and cutting-edge expertise is employed to create an untamed, energetic style. 

25 November
latest news

J’adore Exceptional Edition: Savoir-faire

Discover the secrets behind the making of the new exceptional J’adore flacon, bringing together the expertise of some of the greatest Parisian artisans.

Inspired by 18th-century jewelry, Victoire de Castellane has designed a majestic flacon that encapsulates the elegance of the Palace of Versailles. “I imagined having found a perfume bottle inside a piece of furniture from the Court of Versailles, in the way one might have hidden a jewel, a treasure one wished to keep safe. If J’adore had been created in the 18th century, I like to think that it would have been like that, baroque, suspended in time and space,” the Creative Director of Dior Joaillerie explains. This special creation is the object of technical feats that combine tradition and innovation.  

The ribbon decorating the amphora is produced using a technique whereby a layer of silver is placed over a layer of rose gold. The two metals are worked separately then bonded together before being dipped into an oxidizing bath that blackens the silver while preserving the rose gold. This gives a jewel an antique look and reproduces a cradle-lit effect. As if frozen in movement, the bow requires precise and meticulous manipulation by the craftspeople, from polishing to stone setting. Each crystal amphora is mouth-blown by the master glassblowers at Baccarat, perpetuating the close links the House has enjoyed with this prestigious crystal glassmaker since 1947.

Lastly, like a signature engraved on the gem of a flacon, Victoire de Castellane handwrites the name J’adore.

25 November

The J’adore Exceptional Edition

The iconic J’adore amphora is reinvented in an exceptional edition designed by Victoire de Castellane, Creative Director of Dior Joaillerie

For the first time, Victoire de Castellane is delivering her own artistic interpretation of the emblematic J’adore amphora. Inspired by the Dior à Versailles fine jewellery collection, this exceptional edition is embellished with a bow, that most essential of House codes. Set with diamonds, it lightly and delicately caresses the flacon’s neck, heightening its sensuality and femininity. “When one sees a bow, one imagines a physical act. Untying a bow is like undressing. And appropriating the object the bow was fastening,” the designer explains. The Baccarat crystal flacon, with its curves and transparency, melds perfume and metal in a play of color and light. Victoire de Castellane adds: “In my work you always find this idea of eternity that comes from capturing movement when it's at its most beautiful”. As a result, the J’adore amphora becomes a rare and precious jewel, with only five in existence in the entire world. 

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