PARIS — Christian Dior has been inspired plenty by China. Now some of that nation’s most prominent artists are drawing inspiration from the French fashion house for an ambitious and futuristic exhibition next month at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing.
The show will feature more than 20 specially commissioned works — many of them large scale — alongside some of the Dior originals that inspired them, from archival dresses by the founding couturier and John Galliano to fine jewelry by Victoire de Castellane, men’s wear by Kris Van Assche, perfumes and accessories.
Works include a 23-foot-high Lady Dior bag made of a lattice of fluorescent tubes by Li Song Song, a giant portrait of Galliano by Zhang Dali composed of Dali’s pseudonym AK-47 and a re-creation of the couture atelier in white porcelain by Liu Jianhua. A Who’s Who of China’s red-hot art scene will be represented, including Zhang Xiaogang and Wang Du.
Spread across 32,000 feet, “Christian Dior and Chinese Artists” will include video works, photography, paintings, sculptures and a gardenlike installation, interspersed with dresses, sketches and photos from the Dior archive, with an accent on dresses by Christian Dior himself and Galliano, couturier since 1997.
For example, Galliano took a research trip to China for his summer 2003 couture show, during which martial artists and plate spinners paraded alongside silhouettes as grand and rich as the country, including exaggerated frock coats and densely flounced gowns.
“I love travel, I love to mix cultures and influences. I find that such a potent source of inspiration and I find the exotic grace and appeal of Asia endless,” Galliano said. “I was thrilled that we were able to not only take influence, but inspire influences, and I love the collaborations and synergy between the two.”
The exhibition, which will run for two months starting Nov. 15, will be feted with a dinner hosted by luxury titan Bernard Arnault, Dior president Sidney Toledano, Dior Parfums chief executive officer Claude Martinez and Galliano.
China represents an important expansion market for Dior. The brand opened its first boutique in the country in Shanghai in 1994, followed by Beijing in 1997. Today, there are also Dior boutiques in Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Tianjin and Shenyang.
The Ullens Center opened a year ago, founded by collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens, a Dior couture client and frequent front-row guest at its Paris shows.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion