Visiting Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Already in April this year, I had the the pleasure to visit one of the most beautiful exhibitions ever, a must for every fashion lover: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This retrospective celebrates the founding couturier’s avant-garde spirit and the international destiny of his House, shepherded, after his passing in 1957, by the talent of the Creative Directors who succeeded him.

You still have one week left to indulge in the universe of the French Maison as the exhibition has been extended to September 1st after it sold out within 19 days of its opening.

ABOUT CHRISTIAN DIOR

Christian Dior was born into a wealthy Normandie family in the French seaside town of Granville on January 21, 1905. As a child he shared his mother’s love of gardens. is early passions included architecture and designing fancy dress costumes for his friends. Sent by his parents to study political science in Paris, Dior gravitated towards a bohemian group of friends, including composer Henri Sauguet and artist Christian Bérard.

In 1928, he opened and art gallery, but the business foundered when the Dior family fortune collapsed following the 1929 financial crisis. Forced to find a new way to make a living, Dior took up fashion drawing, eventually working with top couturiers Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong.

In 1946, Dior founded his own couture house with the backing of textile manufacturer Marcel Boussac. On 12 February 1947, the House of Dior launched its first collection. Dubbed the «New Look» by the press, the collection had an instant and unparalleled influence on fashion around the world. The House of Dior grew rapidly. By 1955 it accounted for over 50% of overseas exports of French haute couture.

In the prime of his career, Christian Dior died suddenly on 24 October 1957. His legacy has continued under the creative directors who have succeeded him at the head of the House of Dior: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

THE EXHIBITION

Based on the highly successful Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve (on view from 5 July 2017 to 7 January 2018), the show charts seven decades of the continuing importance, influence and creativity of the House of Dior in the fashion world, with an additional section showcasing the story of Dior in Britain.

The famous «Bar Suit» and hat, Haute Couture S/S 1947

Drawn from the extensive Dior Archives, the exhibition presents over 500 objects, with over 200 rare Haute Couture garments shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, vintage perfume, original make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions. Unfolding across eleven themes, this unique event invites visitors to immerse themselves inside Christian Dior’s world, tracing the highlights of his life, from his childhood to the creation of his couture house at the end of 1946. A voyage through time that continues with the starring role played by such timeless icons as the eternal «Bar Suit», and legendary looks designed by the visionary tastemaker the couturier was.

Celebrating the Dior art of color, accessories, hats, bags, illustrations, miniature dresses, lipsticks and emblematic fragrances together form a spectrum of colors dear to Christian Dior and, in turn, enrich this exciting encounter with the House. The culmination of this immersive exploration, an exhibit called «Le Salon» showcases the splendor of society soirées, illustrated by spectacular dresses that testify to the virtuosity and savoir-faire of excellence of the Dior haute couture ateliers.

THE NEW LOOK

Christian Dior unveiled his first haute couture collection on 12 February 1947, amid excited anticipation within fashion circles. Offering a radical alternative to the boxy, masculine style of women’s fashion after the Second World War, Dior’s designs caused a sensation. Carmel Snow, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, declared: « It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian, your dresses have such a new look!» The Dior Line showcases ten defining looks made between 1947 and 1957, Christian Dior’s own tenure at the House.

DIOR IN BRITAIN

Exactly to this day, 72 years before, on 26 August 1947, a small group of people stood together in London’s Claridge’s Hotel, hovering around a smartly dressed middle-aged man holding a trilby hat. The celebrated couturier Christian Dior, who just six months earlier had revolutionized fashion with its first «New Look» collection, was in the process of being ambushed by the press. One journalist grilled him as to how he was able to persuade a world short of fabric to embrace his audacious new fashions, to which Dior replied: «I am giving the women the dresses they want. They’re fed up with war restrictions… My full skirts are a release

«I adore the English, dressed not only in tweeds which suit them so well, but also in those flowing dresses, in subtle colours, which they have worn inimitably since the days of GainsboroughChristian Dior, 1957.

Christian Dior designed this couture dress in 1951 specially for the 2st birthday of Princess Margaret.

In his autobiography, Dior affirmed his love for all things English. He was particularly enamoured with the English aristocracy and he admired the grandeur of the great houses and gardens of Britain, as well as British-designed ocean liners, including the Queen Mary, and Savile Row suits.

HISTORICISM

Christian Dior often cited historic periods in his designs – the sinus lines of Belle Époque dresses from the late 1800s and early 1900s: the tightly waisted mid-nineteenth-century styles worn by the French Empress Eugénie, Napoléon III’s wife. The sumptuous silks and dramatic silhouettes of the eighteenth century held a particular fascination. Dior’s premises at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris had a neo-classical façade, medaillon-backed chairs, and white and grey panelling like that of Petit Trianon at Versailles, a colour Dior is said to have revived.

«I thank heaven I lived in Paris in the last years of the Belle EpoqueChristian Dior, 1957

In front of one of my favorite Dior dresses, Look 24 from the F/W 2004 Haute Couture collection by John Galliano.

TRAVEL

Travels explore how travel and different countries and cultures have consistently inspired the various designers at the House of Dior. This section focuses on five of the countries that provided a source of reference for Christian Dior and his successors at the House of Dior: Mexico, India, Egypt, Japan and China.

THE GARDEN

Flowers are emblematic of the Maison and have inspired silhouettes, embroidery and prints, but also the launch of Miss Dior in 1947, the first fragrance created alongside the very first show.
From horticulture to global travel and historicism, the show reveals the sources of inspiration that defined the House of Dior’s aesthetic.

Look 47 from the F/W 2012 Haute Couture collection by Raf Simons for Dior. It was worn by actress Natalie Portman, the face of Miss Dior perfume.

DESIGNERS FOR DIOR

Designers for Dior spotlights the work of the subsequent six key artistic directors since Christian Dior’s death in 1957.

Since 1957 the House of Dior has been led by:
Yves Saint Laurent 1958-60
Marc Bohan 1960-89
Gianfranco Ferré 1989-96
John Galliano 1996-2011 
Raf Simons 
2012-15
Maria Grazia Chiuri 2016 to present
Each creative director has brought a new perspective.

THE ATELIERS

The Ateliers showcases toiles from the Dior Ateliers in a stunning «cabinet of curiosity» style.

«Everything created by human hands expresses something – above all the personality of the creator. The same thing is true with a dress. But since so many people are working on it, the real job is to get all the hands that cut, sew, try on and embroider to express all I have feltChristian Dior, 1954

DIORAMA

Diorama examines the breadth of the House of Dior, from accessories including costume jewellery, hats, shoes and bags, to illustrations, miniature dresses and archive lipstick and perfume, bottles, collected in a kaleidoscopic display. This section spotlights the key creative partners of the House from the past 70 years, including Roger Vivier Stephen Jones, René Gruau, Serge Lutens and Swarovski, Christian Dior’s first choice for crystals to embellish his creations.

How cool! My own outfit was part of the exhibition.

THE BALLROOM

Drawing on his love of costume, it was in his evening dresses and ball gowns that Dior could indulge his imagination and showcase the diverse skills of the haute couture ateliers. Until today, a Dior gown, synonymous with allure and opulence, demonstrates the formidable talents and techniques of Parisian haute couture. It is no wonder that such striking creations have graced numerous red carpets as the choice of film stars and prominent personalities over the past seven decades.

I hope that you have enjoyed following me on my tour through this beautiful exhibition.

LoL, Sandra

Photos taken of the exhibition: © Sandra Bauknecht

Astro Dior

Yesterday, I spotted the new jewelry collection by DIOR Joaillerie at the Zurich boutique and fell immediately in love. Named ASTRO DIOR, it is a celebration of the superstitious character of Christian Dior and consists of 12 necklaces in gold and mother of pearl, allowing you to now wear your astrological sign.

Christian Dior at a feast of St. Catherine, circa 1950

Christian Dior loved astrology. Therefore he visited Madame Delahaye, his clairvoyant, before opening his eponymous Maison in 1946. After the consultation, she confirmed to him that the launch of his brand was written in the stars.

Over the years, many references to the designer’s beliefs in astrology and mysticism appeared as he created certain pieces with a nickname deriving from those fields: Bonne étoile (lucky star), Horoscope, Tour de cartes (card trick) and Cartomancienne (cartomancer).

Astrological references on the DIOR runways

The House’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri continued this legacy by embroidering zodiac signs and celestial motifs on cashmere sweaters, bags and more.

Making of ASTRO DIOR 

Victoire de Castellane also celebrates this fascination with astrology now with the launch of these beautiful 12 necklaces that are available in stores now.

LoL, Sandra

ASTRO DIOR – Aries

ASTRO DIOR – Taurus

ASTRO DIOR – Gemini

ASTRO DIOR – Cancer

ASTRO DIOR – Leo

ASTRO DIOR – Viergo

ASTRO DIOR – Libra

ASTRO DIOR – Scorpio

ASTRO DIOR – Sagittarius

ASTRO DIOR – Capricorn

ASTRO DIOR – Aquarius

ASTRO DIOR – Pisces

 Photos: Courtesy of DIOR and © Sandra Bauknecht

Dioriviera

Do you remember when fashion lovers around the globe were craving for the limited edition pieces, such as the Book Tote, that were only available in DIOR‘s Mykonos pop-up store (for the previous post, click here).

This season, DIOR presents DIORIVIERA, a new capsule collection created by Maria Grazia Chiuri, that celebrates the beauty, leisure and art of farniente. A bright and sunny wardrobe, like an invitation to travel, dedicated to the most delightful Mediterranean getaways, the promise of an eternal summer, from Forte dei MarmiCapri to Mykonos, from MarbellaSaint-Tropez to Ibiza. Great news is that the beautiful items are this season all available online and of course in the respective local holiday boutiques.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Dior
#Dior #DiorRiviera #DiorCruise #MariaGraziaChiuri #PamelaHanson

Get Ready for International Women’s Day

Since Maria Grazia Chiuri has been at the helmet of DIOR, she has made feminism part of her designs. Last Tuesday she presented her F/W 2019 collection for the French Maison in Paris and the opening look of the show comprised a T-shirt with the title of Robin Morgan‘s classic work «Sisterhood Is Global». The American second-wave feminist activist and author was also present at the runway presentation.

Upcoming Friday, March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day, a good reason for Net-à-Porter to team up with some of their favorite ladies in fashion to create an exclusive capsule that you can explore below. Get ahead of the fashion game and be a woman in power.

Happy Weekend from Paris!

LoL, Sandra

International Women’s Day printed cotton-jersey T-shirticon by Isabel Marant

International Women’s Day printed cotton-jersey T-shirt by Victoria Beckham

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International Women’s Day flocked cotton-jersey T-shirt by ALEXACHUNG


iconInternational Women’s Day binary code printed cotton-jersey T-shirt by Rosie Assoulin

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International Women’s Day embroidered cotton-jersey T-shirt by Chloé

iconInternational Women’s Day printed cotton-jersey T-shirt by Ellery


iconInternational Women’s Day printed cotton-jersey T-shirt by Perfect Moment

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
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Dior’s It-Belt for Cruise 2019

From the It-bag to the It-belt…! Drawing inspiration from the ezcaramuzas of Mexico (female equestrians in the traditional Mexican rodeo known as charrería), Maria Grazia Chiuri has designed a number of feminine outfits for the DIOR Cruise 2019 collection with eye-catching details: Corsets and wide leather belts in plain black or totally embroidered in Mexican flowers emphasized the models’ waists. In reference to the equestrian world and the House’s heritage, each style of belt is in the form of the ‘Saddle’ bag with its emblematic curved flap and tab decorated with a golden “D”.

Those belts will be flying off the shelves now…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of DIOR

Must-Have: Dior’s Book Tote

I am in love, yes IN LOVE! This is definitely the  chicest bag you could add to your summer wardrobe, DIOR‘s embroidered Book Tote! A veritable invitation to travel by the House’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, an evocation of sunshine, inspired by Mexican crafts, it is the perfect luxury staple piece to rock throughout the season. First seen at the DIOR S/S 2018 runway show, it sports geometrical motifs and requires more than thirty-two hours of work and over one million two hundred thousand stitches to create an interplay of arrestingly lovely patterns in mesmerizing shades of green, orange, red, fuchsia, violet and blue. It’s crafted in the fashion house’s studio in Paris.

Rihanna sporting her personalized DIOR book tote

Although the tote has just been released this season, celebrities all over are sporting the brand in a range of colors and customized names.

Check out the photos below to see how the elegant piece is made:

If you are dreaming of a limited edition piece, I recommend visiting DIOR’s pop-up store on the Greek island of Mykonos this summer at the upscale Nammos shopping village until Oct. 15, 2018.

There you can find exclusive pieces, including DIOR Book Tote bags featuring the name of the island woven into the canvas as well as striped bodysuits and sweaters, silk cravats and cotton pareos bearing the slogan «J’adior Mykonos

Great news is that the DIOR book tote is here to stay and has been designed in many different versions for F/W 2018 as well as for Cruise 2019.

DIOR Book Totes for F/W 2018

DIOR Book Tote for Cruise 2019

Such a great bag – my favorite is still the S/S 2018 in vibrant shades.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Dior

Dior Makes You a Great Women Artist

Since Maria Grazia Chiuri has taken the helmet at Dior, she has not been afraid of delivering powerful statements. Last year, she already gave us one politically charged look with her famous «We Should All Be Feminists» T-shirt, and now she is back for another round.  To open the S/S 2018 show, Sasha Pivovarova went down the runway in a Breton-striped shirt that read «Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?», a direct reference to historian Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay on patriarchy’s lasting effect on art. It is absolutely worth reading.

But personally speaking, I think Maria Grazia has forgotten one tiny thing:-) …, most of us are great artists on a daily basis. And our skin is our canvas. Dior has come up with some great painting tools this S/S 2018, enjoy this quick insight of what I can recommend for the perfect oeuvre.

PREPARE YOUR CANVAS

DIOR HYDRA LIFE Balancing Hydration
2 in 1 Sorbet Water
It is as yummy as it sounds. This new generation waters highly concentrated in a bouquet of Jasmin, mallow, haber lea and fine mineral powders of natural origin. It immediately moisturizes and rebalances for skin so naturally beautiful you will prefer it bare.
CHF 47.00 (175ml)

DIOR HYDRA LIFE Cooling Hydration
Sorbet Eye Gel
A must for summer and after a night out. This ultra-fresh eye gel moisturizes, balances and revitalizes the delicate skin around the eyes while mineral pearls illuminate it. Best if you keep it in the fridge for an extra cooling effect.
CHF 66.50 (15ml)

PREP YOUR CANVAS

DIOR PRESTIGE Le Cushion Teint de Rose
Fond de Teint Revitalisant d’Exception
Rose Glow – High Correction
SPF 50 – PA+++/ Long Wear

Dior’s first revitalizing foundation concentrates the power of at least 500 rose petals for the most radiant rose-petal complexion. It ideally evens out the complexion with a weightless finish while enhancing the rosy glow on the skin’s surface. Available in 5 shades. Love, love, love!

COLOUR YOUR CANVAS

DIOR ADDICT Lacquer Plump
Plumbing Lacquered Lip Ink
Long-Wear Colour
CHF 50.00

In mere seconds, its fine formula delivers color with intense lacquer shine and fusional hold. Enriched with hibiscus extract and hyaluronic acid, it plumps and deeply hydrates lips (+78% hydration after 24 hours) to achieve a fuller effect. You don’t need much more during warm summer days. My favorite shades are: 456 Dior Pretty, 538 Dior Glitz and 758 D-Mesure

FINISH OFF YOUR ARTWORK WITH A TOUCH OF PERFUME

MISS DIOR Blooming Bouquet
Roller-Pearl Eau de Toilette
CHF 52.50 (20ml)

A beautiful glass bottle in the right size for your handbag topped with a delicate pearl for discreet and sensorial fragrance application that offers you to wrap yourself in the fresh floral scent of Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet anywhere, anytime.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Dior and © Sandra Bauknecht

I Adore J’Adior

Last March upon writing today’s post, I knew already that the DiorJ’ADIORslingbacks will be undoubtedly the most sought after shoes of the season. Maria Grazia Chiuri, who is the first female designer to head up the house of Dior in it’s 70 year history, rocked her runway debut with slogan tees, tutu skirts and a shoe that has reached a cult status in an instant.

But ladies, it is not only the clothes and accessories, that make a woman beautiful. We also need to work on our radiance when nobody is watching us. Therefore I would like to recommend to you today Dior Prestige La Lotion Essence de Rose.

Combining the power of a fresh essence with the comfort of a milky lotion, this first step of your daily beauty routine in the morning (and at night) is drenched in hydrating agents to deeply moisturize the skin and to wrap it in a protective veil all day long. It doubles the age-defying effectiveness of your other products to reveal a fresher, more luminous complexion.

How It Works:
Through a unique process, Dior Science releases the vital essence concentrated at the heart of Rose de Granville cells and creates the patented Micro-Reviving Rose Water™. La Lotion Essence de Rose reinvigorates circulation and flow between skin cells. Full of life, the skin is infused with a natural rosy radiance again.

Personal experience:
My skin feels after only 4 weeks of use perfectly invigorated. It is softer, more supple and revitalized. Even after not sleeping a lot, my complexion is less dull and wrinkles seem diminish.

TO SHOP DIOR PRESTIGE LA LOTION ESSENCE DE ROSE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Dior and © Sandra Bauknecht

Dior’s Feminist Tee & J’Adior Kitten Heels

Last summer, Maria Grazia Chiuri was officially named Creative Director at Dior, making history as the first-ever female head designer in the prestigious fashion house’s 70-year history. To celebrate that milestone, the designer debuted her first collection for the brand with some to die for statement-making tees.

The ultimate must-have for all fashionistas among the midst of tulle, lace and an array of romantic gowns, is a white graphic t-shirt emblazoned with the words, “We Should All Be Feminists” that walked the runway tucked into a floor-length sheer tulle skirt.

TO SHOP THE DIOR MUST-HAVE TEES, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
Hurry up as they will sell out in the next hours for sure!

Rihanna wearing Dior’s feminist tee

Great news is that Dior announced that a portion of sales from its “We Should All Be Feminists” tees will benefit The Clara Lionel Foundation that was founded by the fashion house’s ambassadress Rihanna back in 2012 for whom «in the fight against injustice, inequality, and poverty, access to​ education and health​ is our most powerful weapon».

And if you happen to be at Dior, grab a pair of those ladylike kitten heels that are featuring an arched-heel slingback with J’Adior-printed ribbon trim. So cute!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Dior and via Harper’s Bazaar UK

Dior Hires Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri

Maria_Grazia_chiuri_Valentino_Dior

In the end of last week, it was announced that Maria Grazia Chiuri had left Valentino, where she was co-creative director with partner Pierpaolo Piccioli. One day later, we knew where she would head to. It is quite breaking news: she will be the new artistic director at Dior, which marks the first woman in the fashion label’s 59 year history to take this position. Chiuri takes the place of Raf Simons who departed in October (for the previous post, click here please).

2822Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri take a bow after the Valentino couture show on Wednesday.

Somehow, it feels quite sad. Chiuri worked with Piccioli for 25 years, first at Fendi then behind the scenes at Valentino. In 2008, they were named creative directors in 2008 and brought the label into a new era.

valentino-rockstud-sandals

Rockstud embellished leather sandals
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Think of all the famous «Rockstuds» that gained a huge following… romance with a twist of coolness, that is what there collections have been made of. The Valentino sales rose constantly, in the first quarter of 2016, already by 9%.

valentino-pre-fall-2016-collection-lookbookTO SHOP VALENTINO PRE-FALL 2016, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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It is sure that LVMH, Christian Dior’s parent company, is hoping for Chiuri bringing the same success there. She beat other contenders for the highly prized job, including Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton and ex-Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz.
Her first ready to wear collection will take place on September 30 in Paris.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Valentino, © Sandra Bauknecht and SIPA/REX/Shutterstock