Dior and Italy
“This is paradise1.” In an outpouring of emotion, Christian Dior described one of his stays in Italy. Throughout his life and his dazzling career, he gave in to/was seduced by the country’s Mediterranean charms, admiring the colors, enchanting landscapes, light and innate sense of farniente of its havens of peace. Between two collections, the founding couturier cultivated a gentle lifestyle captured in the azure blue thread running through many of his haute couture creations. Among them were looks named Florence, Venise, Scala, Italie, Rome, Napolitaine, Capri, Rossini, Pirandello, Soirée Romaine, Rialto and Bal Vénitien, testaments to his fascination for the country.
In 1948, just a year after it was born, the irresistible fragrance Miss Dior launched in Italy. On the strength of its success, the perfume business quickly caught on/rapidly took off in Pisa, then in Turin, Naples and Sanremo. A few years later, it was the Italian cinema that met up with/established ties with the French fashion house via an unprecedented collaboration with the filmmaker Vittorio de Sica for Stazioni Termini (Terminal Station). Monsieur Dior dressed its lead actress, Jennifer Jones; a contribution that was crowned by an Oscar nomination for Best Costumes.
But among these countless memories, there was one that Christian Dior cherished above all: the incredible "Ball of the Century" held by Charles de Beistegui at the Palazzo Labia in Venice on September 3rd, 1951. “It was the most beautiful evening I had ever seen, and I would never see its equal again. (...) The endless depth of the Italian night transformed this nocturnal spectacle into a timeless affair (...),” wrote the dazzled couturier in his autobiography. Like a precious echo, in 2019, the House unveiled the “Bal Tiepolo” at the same prestigious palazzo, in support of the Venetian Heritage Foundation for the restoration and promotion of La Serenissima's heritage.
In 1989, the transalpine saga continued with Gianfranco Ferré, the first Italian to head a French fashion house, who mixed the Dior codes with a personal style informed by Renaissance art.
Since her arrival in 2016, Maria Grazia Chiuri, a native of Rome, has celebrated the richness of her cultural heritage in a fervent dialogue with the House’s universe. A symbiosis between exceptional crafts that enhance the essence of couture with poetry and emotion, as in Matteo Garrone's film unveiling the Dior autumn-winter 2021 haute couture creations, and in the 2021 Cruise collection presented in Lecce, a fashion show held behind closed doors, in homage to the traditional arts of Puglia. An invitation to embark on a luminous odyssey. Reflecting a refined dolce vita lifestyle, the Dioriviera capsule offers a timeless summer wardrobe exalting free and radiant femininity. A line to be (re)discovered each season, and in particular in the House’s pop-up store in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, the jewel of the Emerald Coast
1From a letter written by Christian Dior in 1957, from the Morgano & Tiberio Palazzo hotel on Capri, where he was staying.