PARIS — Taking its longtime links to the art world to a new place, Christian Dior will today unveil a vivid accessories line in collaboration with German contemporary art star Anselm Reyle.
The range — spanning everything from wallets up to metallic leather handbags — is slated to arrive in select Dior boutiques worldwide on Jan. 9.
But they will first make an appearance during the Art Basel Miami Beach fair. A Dior pop-up shop is slated to open Nov. 28 in the Miami Design District for a three-week run.
“It’s young and modern. There’s a lot of energy,” Delphine Arnault, deputy general manager at Dior, said Monday during an exclusive preview of the project at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s headquarters on the Avenue Montaigne, where products were installed amidst black lacquer shelving and colored mirrors.
Visitors to today’s presentation in the building’s courtyard will first pass video columns bearing Reyle’s camouflage patterns which, Arnault pointed out, go well with the colorful figures by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami that stand like sentinels in the window.
“Art has always been at the center of Christian Dior’s life. We thought it would be great to continue the story and we chose an artist with a strong vision,” Arnault said, describing Reyle’s work as “joyful” in its use of vivid colors and shiny materials like foil.
“Christian Dior, before becoming a visionary couturier, was a gallerist,” she reminded.
Reyle applied his aesthetic to existing models in the Dior accessories universe, rendering Lady Dior handbags in matte or metallic leathers and canvas totes in vivid prints with a metallic sheen. Throughout, Reyle tilted the house’s famous “cannage” pattern on a 30-degree angle, occasionally stitched in neon thread.
Colorful bangles, chunky necklaces, sunglasses, scarves and a tight selection of footwear — including chunky platforms — complete the line. Retail prices range from about 190 euros, or $268 at current exchange, for a bangle, up to 2,850 euros, or $4,018, for a metallic Lady Dior.
To the famous “C” and “D” charms that dangle from Dior leather goods, Reyle added shards of colorful Perspex, telegraphing his penchant for found objects and industrial materials.
“We left him very free on this project. It’s important to give freedom to artists,” said Arnault, echoing a sentiment often expressed by her father, Bernard, chairman and chief executive officer of the world’s biggest luxury goods group. “[Reyle] was very interested in working on objects that would follow women all day.”
Extending the range to the beauty department, Dior developed five nail polishes and a limited-edition eye shadow palette with a mix of colors painstakingly set in camouflage patterns.
Reyle, who is represented in New York by Larry Gagosian and in Europe by Almine Rech, told WWD it was his first time working with a fashion brand.
“It was a challenge. At first I wasn’t sure about the result, but now I am happy,” he said. “In my work, I deal a lot with found objects, and influences beyond the traditional art context; for example, elements of subculture, architecture and design. That’s why I thought this project could make sense.”
Reyle said he was struck by how a big company like Dior develops its products much like an artist does in his studio.
“I am very curious to see ladies wearing the bags and other things on the street,” the Berlin-based artist mused, adding, “but I guess where I live I won’t see too many of them.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast