Wednesday, April 17, 2013

So Dior

This past month, Harrods celebrated the relationship between England and Christian Dior, the iconic French designer, with a huge So Dior exhibit and make-over. The windows were 

decked out just like Christmas windows with amazing displays. Little red buses carrying the fabulously popular round heeled shoes of the season around the sights of London.

My friends and I were treated to an hour long tour by a guide who fascinated us by the stories and history surrounding the Dior phenomenon.

We were anxious to hear all the details and feel the "Miss Dior emotion" as we were spritzed by his iconic scent.

Entering, we were amazed by the façade re-creation of the Paris headquarters on Avenue Montaigne, with silhouettes of Dior fashion

and glimpses of Dior perfumes in the little windows.

Christian Dior first presented his flattering feminine fashions in his 1947 collection, and this lovely "Bar" suit from that group was on display. 

Dior's special relationship with England began in 1953 when he came to England to attend the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. A year later he had his first fashion show in Harrod's. Princess Margaret was a big fan.

Since Dior's untimely death at age 52, while on vacation in Italy, a succession of artistic directors has taken the helm of the house of Dior, the most current being Raf Simons, and the first being Yves. St. Laurent.

It was fascinating to see the stage of miniature Haute Couture re-creations from the history of the House of Dior telling the story of the design house through the years,

and we were spellbound gazing at this white tulle dress embroidered with silver sequins that Audrey Hepburn wore in 1959 for Harpers Bizarre magazine.

Equally stunning was this midnight blue satin dress worn by Princess Diana to celebrate the House of Dior's 50th anniversary in December, 1996.

Having always yearned a bit for the iconic Dior bag, I was intrigued by this grand scale bag, as well as being fascinated by its connection to Princess Diana. Evidently, the former first lady of France, Bernadette Chirac, gave Princess Diana this bag soon after it first came out in the mid 1990's, and Princess Diana loved it so much 

that she ordered one in every color. Soon after, the bag was christened to be the Lady Dior bag in honor of Princess Diana.

Many references to the Dior scents were on display, including this bottle of Miss Dior, the first scent of the company, which was exclusively designed for Princess Grace of Monaco with the Grimaldi coat of arms featured on the bottle.

Maybe you remember seeing this dress from the commercial with Charlize Theron for Miss Dior perfumes, when she channels the memories of Marilyn Monroe, Princess Grace and Marlene Dietrich in the Palace of Versailles. The design of the dress and beads reflects the design of the bottles which surround the mannequin here.

So feminine, so figure flattering, this gown is the one currently being worn by Natalie Portman for Miss Dior ads.

And if all that beauty and design left you feeling a bit overwhelmed, you could pause in the Dior cafe

for tea and "fashionable" cupcakes.

A delightful way to end a lovely experience!


  1. Wow, I really missed a special day! I am so surprised they let you take pictures of everything! Just another day in Harrods!

  2. Oh how those miniature window displays speak to my heart! Only the Europeans can twist and bend an idea and make it so unique!!!! Thank you for this lovely respite my dear and for your visit. Anita

  3. Magnificent, Debi! You shared so much detail that I really feel I was there. Wish I had been!


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  5. What a fun day, Debi! This post reminds me of that movie with Angela Lansbury - Mrs. 'Arris goes to Paris, where she dreamed of owning a Dior gown and scrimped and saved until she could do so and all the adventures that ensued....My grandma from England loved that book.