Following the resounding success of the exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” welcomes visitors at the Brooklyn Museum in New York until February 20, 2022. Curated by Florence Müller with Matthew Yokobosky, the exhibition is an artistic and historical journey where Dior heritage meets American culture.
Nearly 300 pieces retrace the history of Dior and the Maison’s close affinity with America. The exhibition debuts with a journey through time and space, retracing founder Christian Dior’s cultural and artistic itinerary from 30, avenue Montaigne to the nexus of cosmopolitan America. Dior’s earliest haute couture creations – some of which have never been displayed in public before – interact with exceptional pieces from the Brooklyn Museum’s rich collections, creating a memorable dialogue with the unique Dior heritage.
A gallery of paintings is followed by a celebration of American photographers, many of whom – including Horst P. Horst, Irving Penn, Henry Clarke, Annie Leibovitz or David Lachapelle – captured the silhouettes of the founding couturier and his successors.
An adjacent gallery invites visitors to admire creations by successive Dior Artistic Directors. Emblematic pieces by Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri are showcased in conjunction with the architecture of the Brooklyn Museum and some of its notable works.
The exhibition also features the Maison’s multiple sources of inspiration, from Versailles to the splendor of flowers, joined by the Colorama, a magical cabinet of curiosities where accessories are set off in chromatic nuances. The remarkable “Toile Room” is a tribute to the sublime artisanal skills of the “petites mains” in the Dior Ateliers. Equally compelling is a chance to discover dresses that have graced the most dazzling actresses, from Grace Kelly to Jennifer Lawrence. Capping the exhibition, the museum’s central atrium has been redesigned as an enchanted garden with a sky of sparkling constellations, an echo of Christian Dior’s lucky star.
In September 1947, just a few months after the triumph of the New Look, Christian Dior embarked aboard the Queen Elisabeth ocean liner for America. The designer had never before crossed the Atlantic and the encounter proved to be love at first sight: “Carried away by my enthusiasm I completely forgot the ancient continent of my birth. My two days in New York were spent in a state of continuous wonder.”