The Story of the Rose by Dior. Seated on his medallion-backed Louis XVI chairs, under the crystal chandeliers, Monsieur Dior’s clients are choosing their grand evening dresses, here in the Haute Couture salons where the 18th century reigns supreme. From the very beginnings of his Fashion House in 1947, the couturier had chosen the style of the Age of Enlightenment, which is also the era of Marie-Antoinette and the ultimate reference in French good taste. This is why the rose, the most prized flower of those times, has always been a recurrent theme in Christian Dior’s collections.
The new Dior Joaillerie advertising campaign now showcases a Dior Princess of modern times in a period decor, wearing the dress “Tableau final” from 1951, with its rose garland of hollyhocks. The story of Monsieur Dior and the rose begins in 1906 on the cliff tops of Granville, in Normandy. Christian Dior is barely one year old and his parents have just acquired a large villa, whose name “Rhumbs” evokes the compass rose and is to trace the destiny of the young Christian. “Pebbledash in a very soft pink mixed with grey gravel, these two colours have always been my favourites for my fashions”, he is later to explain when recalling the villa in his autobiography Christian Dior and I.
His mother, Madeleine Dior, imagines an English style garden surrounding their home and lets her son give free rein to his imagination in what is to become the rose garden. Is it here that the winds blew, wafting Christian Dior and his roses far away to the Avenue Montaigne? The roses of Granville, in shades of orangey pink, yellowy pink and powdery white, are to become the couturier’s favourite pattern.
They can be found printed, embroidered and brocaded on evening dresses. They are also a part of Christian Dior’s daily life as he collects rose-patterned porcelain and likes to see it adorning the 18th Century mantelpieces in the Grand Salon, Avenue Montaigne. And naturally, roses are the flowers which take pride of place in his garden at Milly-la-Forêt, near to Paris. Thus the rose, so important in Christian Dior’s life and work, has also become important in the Dior Joaillerie collections.
Victoire de Castellane adorns her “Rose Dior Bagatelle” rings with white or fancy coloured diamonds, sets her “Rose Dior Pré Catelan” collection with coral, onyx, chalcedony and pink quartz or even cultivates roses around a central stone in her “Précieuses Rose”… This year, this oh-so Dior flower has completely inspired her collection: “Bois de Rose”. But this time, no flowers at all. Only the stem has inspired the designer: “A stem that entwines around the finger, like a poetic jewel, a romantic declaration or a symbol of everlasting love”. www.dior.com 16.07.2014