Qatar Museums is presenting 'Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams' at M7 in Msheireb Downtown Doha, until March 31.
The retrospective features a selection of pieces being shown for the first time, including ensembles from the private collection of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, a long-standing client of Christian Dior Couture.
Olivier Gabet, curator
A media preview of the exhibition was conducted on Saturday with Sheikha Reem al-Thani, acting deputy CEO of Exhibitions and Marketing at Qatar Museums welcoming the gathering. The curator of the exhibition, Olivier Gabet, explained each of the collections on display at the exhibition.
The first fashion exhibition of its ambition and scale in the Middle East, it has been reinvented anew following successful presentations at prestigious museums in Paris, London, Shanghai and New York, according to Qatar Museums. The exhibition, specially conceived for Qatar and curated by Gabet, celebrates nearly 75 years of creative passion, punctuated by captivating haute couture dresses and works from the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
Gabet is director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
“The exhibition, 'Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams', has captivated audiences around the globe with its stunning design and breathtaking fashion creations. Qatar Museums is pleased to present a special presentation of the exhibition in Doha, in collaboration with Dior and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Qatar Museums gives special thanks to Place Vendôme for their generous support as the presenting sponsor of the exhibition,” said HE Sheikha al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Chairperson, Qatar Museums.
“Christian Dior was a true visionary,” HE Sheikha Al Mayassa continued. “So, it is especially meaningful to us that 'Designer of Dreams' is the first major exhibition to open at Qatar Museums’ M7, a creative hub that supports Qatar’s burgeoning fashion and design industries. This inspiring space provides a platform for local talent and supports aspiring and established creative entrepreneurs in Qatar to realise their ambitions.”
Resembling a majestic entrance, a décor evoking the legendary 30 Avenue Montaigne welcomes visitors, followed by a selection of silhouettes designed by each of Christian Dior's successors – Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri. Also featured is the 'Bar' suit, a manifesto of the New Look, designed by Christian Dior for his first collection in 1947.
The House’s multiple sources of inspiration – like the sumptuousness of Versailles – are revealed, while the unmissable toile room, a tribute to the savoir-faire of the Ateliers, promotes the excellence of the 'petites mains'. A floral bouquet of timeless elegance, the 'Miss Dior' fragrance blossoms before Maria Grazia Chiuri's eponymous new haute couture dress for Dior. The beauty of world cultures is showcased in the Dior Around the World section, reflecting cultural references for each country represented, for example Middle Eastern-inspired stained-glass windows by Philippe-Joseph Brocard.
In the heart of a garden recalling Monsieur Dior's love of flowers, looks are enhanced by delicate embellishments or poetic prints, like an haute couture herbarium, presented alongside embroidery by Rébé and precious botanical works dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Continuing this dreamlike journey, the J'adore universe is exalted by a cascade of golden raindrops composed of 3,000 perfume bottles in a creation by the artist Liu Jianhua.
The work 'Precious Stonewal'l (2020) and the 'J'adore' perfume bottle designed by Jean-Michel Othoniel (2012) also appear like an echo. The irresistible Diorama window, revisited in pastel shades, dialogues with an installation specially created for this exhibition by the artist Joël Andrianomearisoa, titled 'Les Saisons Imaginaires' and made from a thousand upcycled Dior silk scarves.
More than 50 'Lady Dior' handbags have been reinterpreted for the 'Dior Lady Art' project, granting painters, sculptors and designers carte blanche to transform this emblem according to their artistic vision – an accessory that owes its iconic status to its extraordinary ambassador, Lady Diana. The public can also admire one of the Princess of Wales' outfits, alongside looks that have graced other dazzling celebrities, including Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lawrence. The final gallery, a ballroom paying tribute to the "kingdom of dreams", offers an enchanting encounter between virtuoso evening gowns and a series of haute couture ensembles belonging to Her Highness Sheikha Moza.
"An odyssey from yesterday to today, all in the name of Dior magic," Qatar Museums said in a statement.
'Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams' is sponsored by Place Vendôme with additional support from Qatar Airways. The exhibition is part of the ongoing cultural legacy established as part of the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture, an initiative celebrating the longstanding ties between both nations.