Haute couture ensembles belonging to Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser on view at the House of Dior’s first retrospective in the Middle East
Qatar Museums is currently presenting Christian Dior Designer of Dreams1 at M72 in Msheireb Downtown Doha, on view until March 31st, 2022. It is the first fashion exhibition of its ambition and scale in the Middle East and has been reinvented anew following successful presentations at prestigious museums in Paris, London, Shanghai, and New York. The retrospective, which features a selection of pieces that are being shown for the first time, includes ensembles from the private collection of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, a long-standing client of Christian Dior Couture.
To the rhythm of a new scenographic narrative designed by Nathalie Crinière, the exhibition, specially conceived for Qatar and curated by Olivier Gabet3, celebrates nearly seventy-five years of creative passion, punctuated by captivating haute couture dresses and works from the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
“The exhibition Christian Dior Designer of Dreams has captivated audiences around the globe with its stunning design and breathtaking fashion creations. Qatar Museums is pleased to present a special presentation of the exhibition in Doha, in collaboration with Dior and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Qatar Museums gives special thanks to Place Vendôme for their generous support as the presenting sponsor of the exhibition,” said Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson, Qatar Museums.
“Christian Dior was a true visionary,” Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa continued, “so it is especially meaningful to us that Designer of Dreams is the first major exhibition to open at Qatar Museums’ M7, a creative hub that supports Qatar’s burgeoning fashion and design industries. This inspiring space provides a platform for local talent and supports aspiring and established creative entrepreneurs in Qatar to realise their ambitions.”
Resembling a majestic entrance, a décor evoking the legendary 30 Avenue Montaigne welcomes visitors, followed by a selection of silhouettes designed by each of Christian Dior’s successors – Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri. Also featured is the Bar suit, a manifesto of the New Look, designed by Christian Dior for his first collection in 1947.
The House’s multiple sources of inspiration – like the sumptuousness of Versailles – are revealed, while the unmissable toile room, a tribute to the savoir-faire of the Ateliers, promotes the excellence of the petites mains. A floral bouquet of timeless elegance, the Miss Dior fragrance blossoms before Maria Grazia Chiuri’s eponymous new haute couture dress for Dior. The beauty of world cultures is showcased in the Dior Around the World section reflecting cultural references for each country represented, for example Middle Eastern-inspired stained-glass windows by Philippe-Joseph Brocard.
In the heart of a garden recalling Monsieur Dior’s love of flowers, looks are enhanced by delicate embellishments or poetic prints, like an haute couture herbarium, presented alongside embroidery by Rébé and precious botanical works dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Continuing this dreamlike journey, the J’adore universe is exalted by a cascade of golden raindrops composed of 3,000 perfume bottles in a creation by the artist Liu Jianhua. The work Precious Stonewall (2020) and the J’adore perfume bottle designed by Jean-Michel Othoniel (2012) also appear like an echo. The irresistible Diorama window, revisited in pastel shades, dialogues with an installation specially created for this exhibition by the artist Joël Andrianomearisoa, entitled Les Saisons Imaginaires and made from a thousand upcycled Dior silk scarves.
Reflecting Christian Dior’s fascination with art, more than fifty Lady Dior handbags have been reinterpreted for the Dior Lady Art project, granting painters, sculptors, and designers carte blanche to transform this emblem according to their artistic vision – an accessory that owes its iconic status to its extraordinary ambassador, Lady Diana. The public can also admire one of the Princess of Wales’ outfits, alongside looks that have graced other dazzling celebrities, including Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lawrence. The final gallery, a ballroom paying tribute to the «kingdom of dreams», offers an enchanting encounter between virtuoso evening gowns and a series of haute couture ensembles belonging to Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
An odyssey from yesterday to today, all in the name of Dior magic.
Christian Dior Designer of Dreams is sponsored by Place Vendôme with additional support from Qatar Airways. The exhibition is part of the ongoing cultural legacy established as part of the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture, an initiative celebrating the longstanding ties between both nations.