'Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams' Exhibit Arrives in Tokyo

Featuring 350 haute couture dresses including Japan-inspired gowns.

Fashion
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Following the success of the exhibition presented at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibit is making its way to Tokyo. The exhibit further celebrates Japan’s ties with the French luxury brand Dior as one of the strongest markets for the label over the years.

As a tribute to Japanese culture, the exhibition features a new scenographic narrative, designed by architect Shohei Shigematsu to spotlight the more than 75 years of bold couture looks from the French luxury brand. The exhibition is set to feature 350 Haute couture dresses, including those that are intended to pay tribute to Japanese culture. Combining Japanese elements to the visual structures of the room, Shigematsu has created a room covered in translucent traditional washi paper pasted over wooden frame. In an interview with AFP, Shigematsu explained, “When Dior makes a skirt, there is a structure and then the fabric is laid on top of it. I was asked to create a Japanese traditional structure, so I thought about shoji screens, for example, which have a wooden structure and are covered with paper.”

Each section also features a different interior design that gives a nod to various parts of Japanese culture. The architect said, “There is a section inspired by an orderly tatami room separated by sliding doors. But not everything in Japan is simple and minimal. We have different designs like Japanese gardens and flashy kimonos. I wanted to show the sides of Japan people don’t know.”

Since the 1950s, Dior has collaborated with many Japanese companies to cater and adapt classic Dior looks to the local taste. In Japan, the brand is hugely popular. As a sign of its popularity, Japan’s former empress Michiko chose to wear a Dior gown made from Japanese textiles when she married then-prince Akihito in 1959. Amongst the pieces exhibited at the Tokyo museum is a John Galliano coat called “The Great Wave off Kanagawa,” which features a print emblazoned on the base of the full skirt and robes cinched with Japanese obi-style belts created by Raf Simons. “This exhibition shows the mutual respect between Japan and France in their approach to crafts, fashion, design and art,” said Shigematsu.

Visitors will be able to walk through some of Christian Dior’s quintessential looks as well as take a visual journey through some of the house’s various artistic directors who have succeeded him including works from, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams starts from December 21, 2022 to May 28, 2023 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.

Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
4-1-1 Miyoshi
Koto-ku, Tokyo
135-0022
Japan

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