La soirée Glamour Women of the Year Award | DIORMAG

15th November
Heritage

Cai Guo-Qiang 

The 2017 Guggenheim International Gala, being made possible by Dior, and currently taking place in New York, highlights the atypical work of Cai Guo-Qiang, renowned for having made pyrotechnics his favored medium. We look at an ‘explosive’ artist who prefers gunpowder to paintbrushes. 

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Cai Guo-Qiang, Elegy, Explosion Event for the Opening of Cai Guo-Qiang : the Ninth Wave, 2014. Photo by Lin Yi, courtesy Cai Studio

Born in 1957, in Quanzhou, in south-eastern China, Cai Guo-Qiang has established himself as a contemporary art sensation on the international scene. A combination of painter, installations creator, building site foreman and munitions expert, he began exploring the pictorial properties of gunpowder in Japan, where he lived from 1986, before settling, in 1995, in New York where he lives and works today. Since 1989, he has made a name for himself with his "fire paintings" created by blowing up gunpowder laid on sheets of paper. These are sometimes covered with cardboard stencils to produce astonishing and ethereal works, such as in his paintings White Peonies or Tree with Yellow Flowers. It is in this spirit, which has become his trademark today, that the artist is developing his artistic approach by using more powerful explosives to undertake particularly recognizable and impressive events, as in 1993 with his chain of fireworks that extended ten kilometers along the Great Wall of China. A work designed to be seen from space by extraterrestrials! With his Black Rainbow pieces he also paints rainbows of black smoke in broad daylight with the sky as his canvas. But his most outstanding work is undoubtedly Footprints of History, made for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games, in 2008. For this project, the artist set off two hundred kilograms of powder to project successive footprints as fireworks over fifteen kilometers. A versatile  artist, Cai Guo-Qiang also creates poetic installations, often outsized, by sculpting animals in resin, plaster or papier mâché. For Head On, he conceived a pack of wolves crashing into a window in a staging defying gravity. Often ephemeral, sometimes monumental, his multidisciplinary work succeeds in always being spectacular.

15th November
Heritage

Dior and Art

For the fifth consecutive year, the house of Dior is making the Guggenheim International Gala possible, held this evening and tomorrow evening in the rotunda of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed New York museum. This annual event perpetuates the passion of Christian Dior and his successors for contemporary art.  

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Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris 2015.

Christian Dior was attracted since his youth to art and the avant-grade movements. So it wasn’t so surprising that, when he was supposed to be studying political science in Paris, he spent most of his  evenings at the cabaret Le Boeuf sur le Toit and kept company with Henri Sauget, Christian Bérard, Maurice Sachs, Jean Cocteau, Jean Ozenne, and so on. He was only twenty-three when, in 1928, he decided to team up with his friend Jacques Bonjean, and then Pierre Colle, to become a gallerist. He exhibited the first works by Alexander Calder and Salvador Dali, previously unknown young talents who would go on to become among the biggest names of the 20th century. He also showed the work of already famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Paul Klee.

Almost twenty years later, when he opened his own couture house, he operated as a veritable body sculptor when it came to constructing his clothes, expressing his love for art with each new season. Over an endless slew of creations he sprinkled flowers in the manner of Claude Monet; a dress with Spanish touches could have stepped out of a Goya painting; others evoke the colors and shapes in works by Paul Cézanne or Gustav Klimt, or bear names with a musical inspiration such as Concerto, Menuet or Bach. The different creative directors to have succeeded the founding couturier have perpetuated this passion: Marc Bohan reinterpreted Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings and collaborated with his friend Niki de Saint Phalle, while Raf Simons transposed the paintings of  Sterling Ruby onto his haute couture dresses. This osmosis between fashion and art continues to inspire the House creations being designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri today. In her autumn-winter 2017-18 ready-to-wear collection, for example, the Creative Director explored blue, a color for which Monsieur Dior had a great fondness, the color of 20th-century painting, of Picasso’s blue period, not to mention the blues of Nina Simone. Her spring-summer 2018 collection, presented in September, was imbued with the universe of Niki de Saint Phalle, from the Nanas, to brightly-colored hearts, dragons and the tree of love. It offered a way for Maria Grazia Chiuri to keep alive the link connecting Dior and artists, along with the costumes she has designed for the dance piece Falls the Shadow, an extract of which will be performed tomorrow evening in the Guggenheim Museum’s famous rotunda. 

14th November
events

La soirée Glamour Women of the Year Award

Last night in New York, the Artistic Director Maria Grazia Chiuri received the Fashion Force Award at the Women of the Year Awards organized by the magazine Glamour. She was presented with her award by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author of We Should All Be Feminists, who wore an embroidered tulle Dior dress. The actress Nicole Kidman, another honoree, was also outfitted by the House, in an embroidered black tulle bustier dress.  

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13th November
VIP

Stars in Dior

Last Friday, for the 31st American Cinematheque Award ceremony in Los Angeles, Natalie Portman wore an anthracite silk gazar Dior haute couture dress. While at the 9th Annual Governors Awards, Saturday evening in Hollywood, Robert Pattinson cut a dash in Dior Homme. On the other side of the country, in New York, Naomi Campbell wore an ash gray wool hopsack Dior haute couture jumpsuit.  

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13th November
latest news

Interview with Peter Philips

Uncover the inspiration behind this winter’s Precious Rocks look by Peter Philips, the Creative and Image Director of Dior Makeup. 

12th November
latest news

Precious Rocks: The Film

Discover Lindsey Wixson illuminated by the ruby and emerald harmonies of this winter’s beauty look developed by Peter Philips, the Creative and Image Director of Dior Makeup. 

12th November
latest news

The Winter Beauty Look

To accompany the end-of-year festive excitement, Peter Philips, the Creative and Image Director of Dior Makeup, developed Precious Rocks, a limited-edition look that gives the Dior woman’s refinement an injection of rock attitude.

As winter approaches, the Precious Rocks look brings deep colors, precious sparkles and an electrifying freshness for beauty that’s light yet sophisticated. With ruby-shaded eyes that chime with intoxicating garnet red lips, the model Lindsey Wixson embodies this dazzling beauty look.

For this precious beauty look, the gesture of applying lipstick is revisited thanks to the faceted applicator of Diorific Khôl, whose point allows for precision application. With its high pigment dosage it offers a velvet-finish smile and a long-lasting hold, while its plant butter formula provides a softening effect. From topaz to amethyst via garnet, each shade is inspired by the vibrancy and color of gemstones. With its matte effect, Diorific Matte Fluid coats lips and cheeks with a subtle nude or a blazing red. In harmony with the mouth’s precious and pulsing hues, Diorific Vernis comes in Garnet, Emerald, Amethyst and Ruby, jewels which can be lifted with the addition of little touches of Diorific Vernis Liner. When it comes to the eyes, the 5 Couleurs palette is revisited in two color harmonies whose faceted compacting resembles precious stones. With Ruby, sumptuous red blooms alongside brown, burgundy and ivory shot with gold and mother-of-pearl. In the Emerald version, deep nuances and rich textures combine around emerald green, gray and pink. Lending the final touch to eyes, Diorshow Bold Brow employs a golden shimmer for sparkling eyes. Thanks to the Diorblush Precious Rocks powder the look’s colors are heightened, while Diorific Precious Rocks illuminates the complexion with subtly golden shimmers. Lastly, as a House surprise, the Rouge Dior is released in a coffret for these end-of-year festivities, with an exclusive faceted cannage band and recharges in five essential shades. Thanks to the Diorblush Precious Rocks powder the look’s colors are heightened, while Diorific Precious Rocks illuminates the complexion with subtly golden shimmers. Lastly, as a House surprise, the Rouge Dior is released in a coffret for these end-of-year festivities, with an exclusive faceted cannage band and recharges in five essential shades. 

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