Art on This Day
On this day in 1946 French fashion designer Christian Dior and his backer Marcel Boussac found fashion house Christian Dior.
In 1928, twenty years before becoming a couturier, Christian Dior, with his friend Jacques Bonjean, opened an art gallery on Rue La Boétie, in Paris' 8th arrondissement. It was they who, in 1931, for the first time in France, exhibited the painting The Persistance of Memory, by their friend Salvador Dalí, now on permanent show at the MoMA in New York.
Two years later they organized a surrealist exhibition with a catalogue prefaced by André Breton. Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, Alberto Giacometti, Max Ernst and Juan Miró featured heavily. When Christian Dior swapped the art world for the world of haute couture, he still remained very close to his circle of poets, painters and musicians. Bernard Buffet, Marc Chagall and Paul Strecker painted his portrait, while his creations inspired the composer Henri Sauguet to write a waltz named Miss Dior.
From 1947, contemporary art played a key role in Christian Dior's creative process while designing his collections, with him naming two of the dresses that appeared in his first show Matisse and Braque.
Later, his successors would go on to continue to be inspired by the world of art. From his very first catwalk show for Dior in July 2012, the former artistic director for women’s collections, Raf Simons, wanted to continue the bond between Dior and artists. He therefore reproduced the abstract canvases of painter Sterling Ruby on some of his haute couture dresses and the designs of a young Andy Warhol on the clothing and accessories of his ready-to-wear collections. The history of Dior remains to this day closely tied to the art world: since 2011, the itinerant Lady Dior As Seen By exhibition has given carte blanche to around 50 multimedia artists and photographers to reinterpret the iconic Lady Dior bag.
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