New Exhibition and Book Delve Into Dior’s Love Affair With Roses
The French fashion house has an enduring relationship with the queen of flowers.
COMING UP ROSES: Christian Dior was famous for his love of flowers — none more so than the rose, which inspired many of the couturier’s designs and continues to fuel the French fashion house’s creative output to this day.
To celebrate its relationship with the bloom, the brand plans to stage an exhibition titled “Dior and Roses” at the Musée Christian Dior in the French seaside town of Granville from June 5 to Oct. 31 — health and safety guidelines permitting.
An accompanying coffee table book details how the inspiration has played out over the decades across Dior’s fashion, jewelry and perfume divisions. A section is dedicated to celebrities in pink Dior dresses, including Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth and Jennifer Lawrence.
Maria Grazia Chiuri, in charge of women’s collections at Dior, has staged shows on garden sets and often features floral embroideries in her creations. Meanwhile, Victoire de Castellane’s most recent high jewelry collection, RoseDior, featured items like a pink gold necklace with a diamond rose that can be clipped off and worn as a brooch.
“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, said in the introduction to the book.
Christian Dior spring 1951 haute couture dress. Photograph by Willy Maywald/Copyright Association Willy Maywald-Adagp, Paris 2021/Courtesy of Dior
Dior inherited his passion for gardens from his mother Madeleine, who tended to a lush rose garden at Villa Les Rhumbs, the family home near Granville. His first fragrance, Miss Dior, was an homage to his sister Catherine, a professional gardener.
Describing his seminal New Look years later, the designer said: “I designed femmes-fleurs, women flowers with soft shoulders, blossoming busts, waists as slender as lianas and skirts as wide as corollas.” He would go on to give his dresses names such as Rose France, Rose Pompon, Rose de Damas and Rose Thé.
The 160-page tome, published by Rizzoli New York, is scheduled to come out in Europe on June 2 and the rest of the world, including the U.S., on Sept. 7.