PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston April 2023

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Page 75 of 115

Christian Dior, The Early Years 1947-1957 (The Vendome Press), Esmeralda de Rethy and Jean-Louis Perreau wrote, "Monsieur Dior wanted men and women to enter his establishment naked as a pin and come out later entirely dressed; for women that would include underwear, jewelry, bags, accessories, and a present to take to the friends where she was invited to dine that evening." The explosive growth of the House of Dior, just a few years after its opening, led to the closure of the diminutive Colifichets. But in the summer of 1955, Monsieur Dior reopened it, relocating it around the corner to 15, rue François 1er and hired artistic director Jean-Pierre Frère to reimagine it to the size and scale Dior had always envisioned. For the next four decades, Frère would illustrate the art of entertaining Dior-style inside the elegant walls of the boutique and oversee the creation of a stunning array of decorative objects that would eventually come to encompass p o r c e l a i n p i e c e s , goldsmithery, crystalware, and home decor. Throughout the decades, Dior Maison would collaborate with notable artists, architects, and designers, from Maria Pergay, Gabriella Crespi, and Joy de Rohan Chabot in the 1970s to Doris Brynner in the late '90s. Named the buying director for Dior Maison, Brynner traversed the globe, selecting precious objects such as engraved glassware from Venice and Austria, embroidered linens made in Beauvais and Portugal, and hand-painted china services made in France, Germany, and Italy. In the next millennium, the powers that be enlisted friends of Dior including Lucie de la Falaise, Hubert Le Gall, India Mahdavi, and Peter Marino to put their mark on the decorative arm of the house. Today, Dior Maison is poised next door to the tasteful, pastel- gray-painted atelier at 28, avenue Montaigne, and six years ago, Cordelia de Castellane was appointed its artistic director. Castellane keeps that through line between the House of Dior and Dior Maison by combing the archives and revisiting iconic Dior codes. One of them, the bee, harkens back to the days when Dior's atelier premiered. Vintage black-and-white photos depict the crowds of onlookers piled on the grand circular staircase, from members of the international fashion press to Hollywood's elite and European aristocrats, all elbowing for a look at Dior's glittering debut. "A little beehive, that's what my house was when I presented my first collection," wrote Dior in his autobiography. Today, the bee takes flight and lands at the bottom of a hand-blown carafe crafted in Italy, while an ochre-painted bee descends on a fine Limoges dessert plate rendered with a painted cannage (cane work) pattern. The cannage pattern is another Dior code found throughout his collections. The geometrically styled pattern evokes the gold Napoleon III cane-bottomed concert chairs in which Monsieur Dior seated his clients at his fashion shows. Today, that caning motif is pressed into Top left: Dior Maison New Lily of the Valley hand- blown glass carafe with a sprig of lily of the valley $550, alongside a trio of wine glasses etched with the delicate flower $430 to $460 each. Top right: Lily Sauvage dinner plate $190. Right: Lily Sauvage wicker tray $600, hand-painted wine glass, and pitcher $1,150. Dior Bees en Provence collection handmade in Italy, carafe $500. ©MATHILDE HILEY ©INÈS MANAI 74

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