Christian Dior Itinéraire d’un Couturier
(Christian Dior Itinerary of a Couturier)
Nearly 100 haute couture models and accessories, complete with photographs, documents archives and personal items cherished by Christian Dior – his lucky star, his last diary, his watch and his pair of scissors -… retrace, within the villa Les Rhumbs, his house childhood which became the Christian Dior museum in 1997, the exceptional career of the couturier, bornin Granville in 1905. On this occasion, the museum deploys in all its spaces a large selection of its collections, constantly enriched for more than 30 years. Recent acquisitions, purchases and donations are particularly emphasized there.
Christian Dior, a reserved and dreamy child, spent the first years of his life in this green setting enchanting, facing the sea, out of sight and the bustle of the city. Photos family, some rarely shown, allow you to enter the intimacy of a family bourgeois who offers young Christian the carefree life of a preserved childhood. Industrial activity led by his father Maurice, associated with his cousin Lucien who was also mayor of Granville and Minister of Commerce and Industry, was then well established.
Documents and photographs testify in the exhibition. Several outfits borrowed from the Granville Art and History Museum immerse the visitor in the atmosphere of the Belle Epoque in Granville, at the beginning of the 20th century, when the elegant women paraded on the promenade du Plat Gousset, a stone’s throw from the casino. Among them, Madeleine Dior, the dear mother by Christian. The Rhumbs and its English garden will forever mark the couturier and constitute an inexhaustible source of inspiration :“The house of my childhood … I have the fondest and most amazed memories of it. What did I say ? my life, my style, owe almost everything to its location and its architecture ”(extract from the memoirs of Christian Dior, Christian Dior and I, Amyot Dumont, 1956).
Models inspired by the seaside atmosphere or dresses with floral patterns reminiscent of the garden of his childhood, show how much this setting inspired him. Throughout the rooms of the house, and from one floor to another, haute couture creations parade, and associated know-how, embroidery or even fur. Emblematic models of the New Look, line imagined by Christian Dior at the end of the war, allow us to understand the success instant and global image of her fashion house from her first show in February 1947. The dress Diablesse (Fall-Winter 1947), which opened the exhibition “Christian Dior, couturier du rêve” at Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris in 2018, illustrates it wonderfully. Recently acquired models by the museum including Agnès (Spring-Summer 1955) and Yellow Butterfly (Spring-Summer 1951) dresses, will be unveiled for the first time. The success of couture very soon meets that of perfumes. Miss Dior, created by Christian Dior in homage to his younger sister Catherine, will be the first.
Image courtesy of Musée Christian Dior, Granville, France.