The Esprit Dior
A journey into the extraordinary universe of Christian Dior.
The Esprit Dior exhibition is a journey into the extraordinary universe of Christian Dior: his imagination, deeply influenced by art, his friendships with the most famous artists of his time, his unique talent for offering sublime and inimitable silhouettes with each new collection, his love of 18th century splendor, and his sense of the marvelous.
From the creations of yesterday to the resolutely modern work of Christian Dior’s latest successor, Raf Simons, Esprit Dior highlights the exceptional virtuosity of the House of Dior, synonymous with French elegance and Parisian chic. Here, the Haute Couture ateliers unveil their parade of wonders, and the world of Dior perfumes adds to the magic.
Christian Dior’s visionary genius stands out ever more clearly with the passing of the years; his creations still convey the same splendid elegance, and all of them, from 1947 onwards, are strikingly contemporary. Six leading Korean artists, Do-Ho Suh, Lee Bul, Heryun Kim, Kim Dong-Yoo, Kiwon Park and Seon-Ghi Bahk, have created works that pay homage to the romantic, artistic and cultural dimensions of these creations.
The subtle interplay of gowns, fragrances, accessories, historical documents and photographs paints a portrait of the incomparable House of Dior and tells the unique story of its special ties with the world of art.
Right from the start, in 1947, the fashion Dior created, steeped in poetry and beauty, attracted the world’s most beautiful women, from actresses to crowned heads. The biggest stars of Hollywood’s golden age had every faith in Dior’s ability to enhance their beauty. Marlene Dietrich insisted on wearing Dior on-screen, just as she did off-screen: referring to her part in the film Stage Fright, she famously told Alfred Hitchcock, “No Dior, no Dietrich”. Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren were all Dior women. The couturier was also asked to design costumes for a variety of films.
The house Christian Dior founded, along with the Haute Couture ateliers and legendary Dior salons, are still to be found at 30 Avenue Montaigne. The site has served as a fixed point down through the years, keeping the Dior spirit alive and intact.