“When I am in New York, I wish to work in the American ways, and with the American mood,” legendary couturier Christian Dior stated after arriving in the Big Apple nearly 75 years ago. “In which I bring my French feeling, of course.”
No better statement could encapsulate the spirit of the traveling exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, on view at the Brooklyn Museum through February 2022. The show, which is based on a 2017 exhibition mounted at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, encompasses more than seven decades of the House of Dior through archival material, artworks from the museum’s collection, and hundreds of haute couture ensembles—beginning with the clothier’s ultrafeminine “New Look” to the feminist-inflected creations of the house’s current creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri.
But garments are only part of the magic. Thanks to breathtaking scenography created under the direction of Paris-based designer Nathalie Crinière, visitors are transported into a dazzling dreamscape, a realm where couture is elevated from the sartorial to the sublime.
And just as Dior brought his “French feeling” to the American fashion scene, Crinière and the Dior team had to bring the magic of the house’s illustrious history to an equally grand McKim, Meed & White–designed cultural institution—20,000 square feet of it to be precise. “The first challenge was coming up with how to map out the itinerary for the visitor, filling it with surprises and building to a crescendo,” Crinière shares.
Click below for a behind-the-scenes look at how the exhibition designers and the Dior team devised the exhilarating sets.
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