Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams Exhibition in Tokyo


Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams Exhibition in Tokyo

The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at the MOT, Museum of Contemporary Art of Tokyo

Subsequent to its success at theMusée des Arts décoratifs in Paris1, theChristian Dior: Designer of Dreamsexhibition has been reinvented at the MOT, Museum of Contemporary Art of Tokyo, from December 21, 2022to May 28, 2023, through the eyes of its curator Florence Müller. Thanks to a new scenographic narrative– much like a homage to Japanese culture – by architect Shohei Shigematsu from the OMA agency in New York,this event crowns more than seventy-five years of creative passion, initiated by the pioneering vision of Christian Dior.

An invitation to explore the life of the founding-couturier, the visit opens with a prelude exalting his love for art.The first room, in a game of daring black and white contrasts, stages the revolutionary New Look and theirresistible modernity that it embodies. Celebrating the deep friendship uniting Dior and Japan2, this journey intospace and time – from Paris to Tokyo – is prolonged with totally unprecedented archive documents that relate theprivileged bond Christian Dior enjoyed with this country, the sense of excellence and detail of which he shared.In turn, letters, sketches and pieces from shows which took place in Japanese cities are thus unveiled; a multitudeof enthralling souvenirs and accounts, notably expressing the unrivalled collaborations between Dior and theDaimaru or Kanebo houses.

This voyage continues with the highlighting of creations signed by the different Artistic Directors of Dior in thebewitching shots of Yuriko Takagi. These poetic images face the legendary silhouettes of Monsieur Dior’s successorsin a pared-down atmosphere, evoking that of traditional Japanese architecture. After a dreamlike wander,marked by the photographer’s captivating prints, the visitor arrives at the iconic room of the white toiles,illuminating the virtuosity of the ateliers, which is reinterpreted in a play of curves paying homage to the Dior lines.

A reflection of the fascinating dialogue between the Japanese aesthetic and the inventiveness of Maison Diordriving this retrospective, an enchanted garden in praise of the beauty of nature, presents the paperwork piecesof artist Ayumi Shibata. Multiple themes dear to the House – from gold to the splendor of flowers, fromJ’adoretoMiss Dior– are revealed, while the Colorama3, a magical cabinet of curiosities in chromatic shades, is enhancedby the work of Joël Andrianomearisoa, reaffirming the essential role of Dior accessories, from cosmetics andperfumes to the hats of Stephen Jones. Visitors can also discover models that have sublimated some of the mostdazzling female personalities, from Grace Kelly to Natalie Portman via Marilyn Monroe, who also appears inthree Andy Warhol screen prints belonging to the MOT. Selected works from this precious museum collection closethe exhibition.

Another moment of wonder comes in the form of sumptuous evening garments flourishing at a majestic ball.A new chapter of this artistic odyssey, theLady Diorbag, a timeless icon of the House, is metamorphosed in novelversions that have crossed the globe thanks to the nomadicLady Dior As Seen Byproject or works dreamed upforDior Lady Arteditions. A world tour of inspirations – from Greece to Spain, India to Egypt, and to Japan –,which have shaped Dior style season after season, comes to life in an animated decor. As a final surprise,this experience that suspends time is drawn to an end with the dress elaborated by Penny Slinger in tribute tothe iconic façade of 30 Montaigne. When the country of the Rising-Sun encounters the Dior dream, from artto fashion.

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