PARIS — Dior is bringing its blockbuster retrospective to Japan.
“Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” will run at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, or MOT, from Dec. 21 to May 28 after a highly successful debut in Paris and stops in London, Shanghai, Chengdu, New York City and Doha.
The show will be presented with a new scenographic narrative designed by Japanese architect Shohei Shigematsu, a partner at OMA, and curated by art and fashion historian Florence Müller, to highlight and celebrate the ties between Dior and Japan.
“We’re honored to design a new spatial narrative within the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo that draws from Dior’s storied relationship to Japan as well as the country’s current cultural contexts to showcase Dior’s creative continuity in a new light,” Shigematsu said in a statement.
“Our collaboration with Dior across multiple cities and venues has been an exciting opportunity to continuously rethink and recontextualize the retrospective in response to its specific, local setting, much like Christian Dior’s own global expedition and influence,” he added.
The exhibition will address founder Christian Dior’s love of gardens and his fascination with the creative richness of Japan, as reflected in previously unseen archival documents, the French fashion house said. It will feature creations by Dior and his successors: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.
They will be shown alongside works from the MOT’s collection as well as photographs by Yuriko Takagi taken especially for the exhibition and its poster. The show will also include reinterpretations of the Lady Dior handbag from prior Dior Lady Art and Lady Dior As Seen By projects, and areas devoted to the Miss Dior and J’adore perfumes.
Müller, who previously curated the Paris and New York City exhibitions, said Dior admired the Japanese people for their ability to combine modernism and tradition.
“With the first agreements signed in 1953 between Dior and Japanese textile companies of prestige, it was also the beginning of a fruitful cultural and artistic dialogue that lives on today with Maria Grazia Chiuri and this exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo,” she said.
Chiuri, artistic director for women’s collections, designed a capsule collection of haute couture dresses for a special event marking the opening of a store in Tokyo in 2017. She said she found evidence of Dior’s attraction to Japan throughout the archives, including in a cherry blossom print from 1953 and a jacket designed to be worn over a kimono.
“I think he was very clever to understand the point of view of Japanese women. And that explains also why the Dior brand is so worldwide, because immediately Mr. Dior understood different kinds of women,” the designer told WWD at the time.