Friday 14 November 2014

Esprit Dior Tokyo | Exhibition

The Esprit Dior exhibition that opened its doors on 30 October 2014 in Tokyo, Japan, is punctuated by the photographs of Patrick Demarchelier.

Two women in Bar suits, two architectural silhouettes designed by Raf Simons welcomed visitors to the Esprit Dior exhibition in Tokyo on 30 October, 2014 which runs until 4 January 2015. This photograph by Patrick Demarchelier is the first in a long series being unveiled for the first time in Japan and in the book Dior New Couture Patrick Demarchelier.

Dior New Couture Patrick Demarchelier
available at Amazon from up 25 November 2014

He learned his craft from working with the Swiss photographer Hans Feurer, sharpening his eye and learning to work in an instinctive manner. Nonchalant and bubbly, spontaneous and natural, his images masterfully capture the moment when the model has forgotten the man behind the camera, when he can immortalize a moment, a real smile, an attitude. This somewhat unconventional vision for the time seduced Princess Diana who asked him to be her official photographer, which gave rise to a legendary black and white portrait in which, her tiara sitting simply on her short hair, her smile is radiant, genuine, a burst of happy laughter captured for all eternity. Boosted by this success, he became the first foreign professional to photograph the British royal family.  Based in New York since the mid-70s, Patrick Demarchelier works exclusively for Condé Nast publications, most notably the American, British, French and Italian editions of Vogue,  and also Vanity Fair  and W.  But this son of Le Havre, in Normandy, hasn't forgotten his French roots: in 2008, the Petit Palais in Paris gave him carte blanche for a retrospective of his work titled Images et Mode.

'Le Jardin Dior' installations

Demarchelier has shot several advertising campaigns for the the House, notably the latest with Jennifer Lawrence as the face of the new Be Dior bag. He told this story on paper for the first time in 2011 with the publication of a first tome, Dior Couture Patrick Demarchelier,  which is now being followed up with Dior New Couture Patrick Demarchelier  in which the photographer explores the House’s creations since 1947, interpreting them in his own way with his singular sensibility. This artistic collaboration is now being unveiled in the exhibition Esprit Dior in Tokyo, Japan.

"Japanese women have a beauty all their own. Above all they must make sure they retain that delicacy of theirs, which is their best asset." - Christian Dior

The Esprit Dior exhibition is a journey into the extraordinary universe of Christian Dior: his designs, inspired by his everlasting fascination with Japanese culture, his strong relations with the most famous artists of his time, his unique talent for offering sublime and inimitable silhouettes with each new collection, his love of great balls, his unique sense of how to bring hapiness to women. From the creations of yesterday to the resolutely modern work of 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 takes part in the magic.

Christian Dior’s visionary creations still convey the same splendid elegance and all of them, from 1947 onwards, are enlivened by a contemporary spirit. Captured by the photographer Patrick Demarchelier, they are revealed in all their facets: timeless icons, works of art, actual jewels of French culture. Gowns, fragrances, accessories, historical documents, sketches, photographs - Esprit Dior tells the unique story of the House of Dior, tied from its very beginnings to the Land of the Rising Sun.

“Large panels painted in the style of Japanese prints decorated the stairway up to the ceiling. These interpretations of Outamaro and Hokusaiwere my Sistine Chapel. I remember spending hours just looking at them,” Christian Dior wrote in his memoirs when describing the ground floor of his house perched atop the cliffs of Granville, in Normandy. 

From these long childhood observations the couturier held a memory and a lasting love of silks delicately embroidered with flowers and fantastical creatures. He drew on this Japanese aesthetic for his spring-summer 1953 haute couture collection with the dress Jardin Japonais created using a motif of a bird on a flowering cherry tree branch, one of the emblems of the Land of the Rising Sun. Christian Dior, who so admired the delicacy, the refinement and the elegance of Japanese women, set out for Tokyo in 1957 accompanied by seven house models to present his new collection. Shortly afterwards, at 30 Avenue Montaigne, the couturier received the imperial family on its official visit to Paris.

This shared admiration was cemented by the creation of three civil wedding dresses for Princesse Michiko, the future wife of Crown Prince Akihito. Monsieur Dior sought to create cleverly architectural outfits in silky fabrics, as a sartorial encounter between western and Japanese culture. In 1998, Dior opened its first boutique in Japan, in the Ginza district in the center of Tokyo, and more recently, the fourth, in the same area, has been lighting up the city with its immense façade incannage. In the haute couture collection for autumn-winter 2013, structured around four continents, Raf Simons designed several looks that paid homage to Japan, such as the red mink coat that fastens like a kimono. And from 30 October, when the Esprit Dior exhibition unveils its new layout in Tokyo, you’ll be able to discover the whole captivating world of the House told through the images of feted French photographer Patrick Demarchelier.

Some more impressions direct from the exhibition ...

At the entrance of 'Esprit Dior Tokyo'
portrait of Monsieur Dior by Ixima Kuniyosi

Esprit Dior Tokyo Exhibition
30 October 2014 - 4 January 2015
Tokyo Ginza 3-5-8

Opening Hours: 10:30 am to 8:00 pm

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: The House of DIOR

More Dior To Love ... 

“I was interested in the process of finding something extremely modern, through something very historical; particularly through a juxtaposition of different themes,”  explains Raf Simons.“The historical inspiration is not the justification of the collection, it isn’t its entire meaning. What I was attracted to was an idea of architectural construction – that is a very Dior attitude – and how the foundations of one era are based on another, how the future is based on the past; that is what I found fascinating.”


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