Not many would know that Japan had a special spot in Christian Dior’s zen state-of-mind or his creative process. For instance, his childhood home in Granville in France’s Normandy coast was decorated with panels decorated with Japanese prints. He even wrote in his memoirs that the scenes depicted on the artwork “were my Sistine Chapel”.
The year 1953 was an important one too with regard to Monsieur Dior’s connection to Japan. He designed a day dress dubbed Jardin Japonais — literally “Japanese garden”. In the next year, he debuted a costume for English ballerina Margot Fonteyn for her performance in Entree Japonaise. The inspiration? Wait for it… a kimono.
Fast forward to the 2017, and Dior’s new creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri is revisiting the archives and taking that idea of Eastern beauty and that legendary 1953 design for a special capsule collection, that was launched last week in Tokyo.
The occasion: The brand’s first haute couture presentation in the Japanese capital which coincided with the opening of its new boutique at the swanky Ginza Six mall. The five-storey store, designed by renowned architect Yoshio Taniguchi comprises, among others, the women’s ready-to-wear collection, the Dior Homme collection, the home series and Cafe Dior by Pierre Herme.
But the special capsule collection that Chiuri created could very well be a main draw to visit the store. Taking its cues from that 1953 dress, the ready-to-wear and accessories collection features the printed word “Jardin Japonais Christian Dior 1953” and paintings of sakura blooms. Among the standouts are the Lady Dior totes with their floral-appliqued straps and the fringed day dress that comes with the slogan imprinted on the trim — giving the street-inspired designs by Chiuri a more romantic twist.
The collection will only be available at the Ginza outpost, but that gives you more than enough reason to make a pit stop there if you happen to be in Tokyo for a holiday this sakura season.
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