The Many Impressions of Christian Dior
This Saturday marks the opening of the Impressionist Festival in Normandy, France, and Granville’s Christian Dior Museum is getting in on the action. On May 4, the museum will bow Impressions Dior—an exhibit that pays homage to the nineteenth-century art movement’s role in shaping the fashion house. The show juxtaposes artworks on loan from private collectors and the Musée d’Orsay—Edgar Degas’ Le Bal, Claude Monet’s Paysage de Normandie, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Roses Mousseuses (below) among them—with seventy-four Impressionist-influenced dresses. “Impressionist fashions fueled Dior’s nostalgic daydreams, spurring him to reinvent various pieces from bygone eras,” curator Florence Müller told Style.com. “The Musée d’Orsay’s Degas painting, Le Bal, evokes this lively and refined past, whose charms left a powerful impression on Christian Dior.”
However, it wasn’t just the house’s founder who was inspired by the art movement—more contemporary creative directors have nodded to the Impressionists, too. John Galliano’s yellow tulle Margot dress from Dior’s 2005 Haute Couture collection is on display. Named for ballerina Margot Fonteyn de Arias, its multicolored wool and raffia embroidery boasts a pastoral, painterly quality. Also on view is an embroidered, multicolored tulle-and-silk bustier evening dress from Raf Simons’ Spring 2013 Haute Couture collection.
Positioned next to Renoir’s Marine Guernsey painting will be a fluid dress once worn by Princess Grace of Monaco. “The material of these dresses is often very light and airy, like sheer fabric or organza,” said Müller.” The feeling of fluidity dominates these outfits. They begin to vibrate with nature’s ebb and flow, and the movement of its elements—sea, sky, clouds, or wind—all of which were masterfully interpreted by the Impressionists.”
Impressions Dior will run from May 4 to September 22 at the Musée Christian Dior Granville.
Photos: Courtesy of Musée Christian Dior Granville