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  • Nina Catt

How A Fascinating New Exhibition Is Celebrating Christian Dior’s Love Affair With Roses

The French fashion maison’s storied relationship with the queen of all blooms is being honoured at the Musée Christian Dior in France from now until October 31 – and here's why we're especially keen to pay a visit...

It’s no secret that Christian Dior had an enduring relationship with flowers, none more so than the rose, which inspired many of the couturier’s designs – and continues to do so at the hands of the distinguished alum that have helmed the illustrious fashion house since. Inheriting his passion for flowers from his mother, Madeleine, who notably nurtured a rose garden at the family home-turned-museum in Granville, Christian Dior’s first foray into fragrance with iconic floral scent, Miss Dior, also payed homage to his family’s adoration of blooms. The scent was named as a tribute to Christian’s sister Catherine, a professional gardener.

To celebrate its deep-rooted relationship with the rose, the distinguished fashion house has staged an exhibition, entitled Dior and Roses, at the Musée Christian Dior in the French seaside town of Granville, running until October 31. An accompanying coffee table book of the same name explores the many façades of the rose, detailing the flower’s inspiration and ever-lasting impact across the label’s fashion, jewellery and fragrance divisions.

“Our exclusive rose fields in the countryside expanses around Grasse, and the thousands of newly planted Granville roses not far from the Dior family’s historic home, are interlinked, as if forming a chain that connects our flower-related activities together,” Laurent Kleitman, president and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Parfums, muses in the book’s introduction.

The floral theme continues to flourish under the vigilant guard of Artistic Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri who often weaves floral embroidered motifs into her creations, while creative director of Dior’s jewellery division, Victoire de Castellane’s latest high jewellery collection, RoseDior, features fifty-four figurative pieces paying homage to the rose.

Among the pieces presented at the exhibition are the Antibes ensemble, signed Christian Dior, from the spring/summer 1955 Haute Couture collection, entirely covered in roses; the Manuela dress in coral silk faille adorned with a rose at the waist, signed Christian Dior by Yves Saint Laurent, from the spring/summer 1959 Haute Couture collection; and from a more recent collection, an opulent embroidered tulle dress, signed Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri, from the spring/summer 2020 ready-to-wear collection.

Truly giving visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk through the decades of Dior, the exhibition will also highlight select pieces from the house’s jewellery, accessories and fragrance collections. Artworks and objects, as well as a series of portraits will complete the exhibition. Undeniably a romantic at heart, Christian Dior’s legacy is a poetic hymn to love. A love that continues to blossom to this day, in more ways than one.

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