Thursday, 21 March 2013

Arty Dior At Harrods

Take a glimpse at the 'So Dior' exhibition at Harrods, showcasing artists reinterpreting some of Dior's most famous codes. It's the event that's made London's pulse quicken since March 16th: on Brompton Road, the departmentstore Harrods welcomes the house of Dior, giving over its windows and devoting an exhibition to it.

Windows, pop-up store, exhibition, café - one can get the whole DIOR experience at Harrods until mid-April. A feast for the eyes, and for other senses, too.

On Brompton Road, the first burst of pleasure is a visual one. And one quickly adopts the wide-eyed wonder of children before the animated windows. All the enchantment of Christmas but yet, in this case, celebrating the arrival of spring. Inside, in the pop-up store, the Trianon gray walls outlined with white moldings transport the visitor directly to 30 Avenue Montaigne, and the soul of that historic boutique manifests itself unmistakably. The sensory pleasure continues with fondling fabrics, and the leathers and the tartans of the bags. But there's still more sensing to be done! On the fourth floor, the exhibition advances the experience: in a traditional London phone-box done over in the Parisian house's colors, the connection is made through smell. It's an olfactive cubicle, and its aim is not to directly perfume but to diffuse Miss Dior, allowing it to waft subtly through the air.

 DIOR at Harrods
87-135 Brompton Road
London, SW1X 7XL, U.K.

A little further on, the Dior café boasts a mixture of British inspirations and house codes: medallion-back chairs typical of the Dior decoration aesthetic, stately tableware and porcelain finely set with gray friezes. Christian Dior was a cultured gastronome, and also a man with a hearty appetite, as La Cuisine Cousue-Main, his cookbook of favorite recipes attests. Be it a parfait of foie gras in Dom Pérignon jelly, a black truffle omelette, a sole meunière or scallops with crab butter, these favorite dishes of his have been specially reinterpreted for the Harrods event. Among the delicacies available to take out are teas - including a chypre creation that recalls the composition of Miss Dior - and traditional English cupcakes decorated with house codes such as the Bar suit, the Lady Dior bag, and a J'adore amphora.

Next, upon leaving the café - after taking afternoon tea, perhaps - don't miss the mini theater of fashion. Amour, Caprice, Abandon… Their names resonate with an air of the kind of romantic adventures of which they would be the heroines. Veritable characters in the own right, the Dior dresses at Harrods are actresses in a unique kind of theater. Scaled-down to perfection by the petites mains in the ateliers at 30 Avenue Montaigne - the same ones responsible for creating the full-size garments for the fashion shows - the house's emblematic creations are displayed treading the boards of a tiny theater, in the middle of a London department store.

If offers a nod to both the "Théâtre de la Mode", a traveling exhibition that, in 1945 and 1946, meandered across Europe and the US to showcase the energy and creativity of French couture, and of the Fashion Theatre launched by Harrods in 1953, and inaugurated with a Dior fashion show. Today, the excellence and the identity of the house is visible through every expression: the Corolle line of 1947's Bar jacket, the Dior red of the Arizona coat from the following year; the pinks of the Schuman and Aurore dresses; the houndstooth and florescent draping of the first haute couture creations by Raf Simons … because even on miniature mannequins the Dior dream lives large. And once the experience it complete, all the senses will have been satisfied!

Dior Exhibition at Harrods

In the middle of the room, between two draped dresses worn by muse Charlize Theron, it reigns supreme and majestic, a golden thread caressing its mythic curves. It is the bottle of the perfume  J’adore, and the inspiration for the artist Jean-Michel Othoniel to create an airy and voluptuous sculpture, an incarnation in the image of the scent itself. Famous for his work in glass, for this occasion the French sculptor created a flacon of XXL proportions, the sun-colored amphora in glass beads a strong expression of the essence of J’adore : its precious story, its luminous aura, and its feminine curves.

Christian Dior himself was friends with some of the biggest artists of his time. Today, the love story between Dior and the art world continues apace, and the house has given carte blanche to various artists to rework, reinterpret and play with its history. The artist Oyoram - who creates the videos shown in the Dior stores - has produced an exclusive video inspired by the Miss Dior dress designed by Christian Dior in 1949. Projected on the walls of a room inhabited by Raf Simons' own reinterpretation of the Miss Dior dress, this spellbinding and poetic film tells the story of the house, its connection to gardens, and its passion for flowers.

The artist Sinan Sigic d’Atelier Hapax, in turn, has taken the signature white boxes labeled "Dior" and built a bright wall with them, punctuated with house symbols cut into the cardboard (the Bar silhouette, the star, the Lady Dior, Miss Dior, and so on).

Stopping off at Harrods, the  Lady Dior as seen by traveling exhibition is showcasing five new interpretations of the  Lady Dior : realized in colored copper wires by Alice Anderson and in ceramic by Bevis & Youle, in the hands of Jack Lavender, Mat Collishaw and Neil Ayling, the bag becomes a veritable work of art in itself.

The Dior Windows

Dior is celebrating this great Franco-British friendship until mid-April in the Harrods windows. And it's also all about the history and the creations of the house as seen through a British prism of the kind of humor to which France is so receptive. And which appealed so much to Christian Dior. 

With a pop-up store on the ground floor, an exhibition on the fourth, and all the legendary windows on Brompton Road, Dior has crossed the English Channel and truly arrived with a splash at Harrods. Check out the inauguration soirée in this video ...


Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: The House of DIOR 

Mor DIOR To Love ...

1 comment:

Olivia said...

Wonderfully crisp and always interesting!

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...