Dior celebrates its women collaborators in new exhibition at the house’s Paris gallery

The exhibition at La Galerie Dior charts the house’s ongoing collaboration with women artists, particularly under current womenswear creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri

Dior Exhibition Paris
The exhibition features work by artists including Elina Chauvet, whose collaborative Dior pieces are displayed above
(Image credit: Photography by Adrien Dirand, courtesy of Dior)

‘We should all be feminists’ – so read a T-shirt in Maria Grazia Chiuri’s debut show as womenswear creative director of Dior, shown in September 2016. It was a garment that would prove prescient to the Italian designer’s tenure at the house so far – for one, her collections have been infused with a celebration of powerful, creative femininity, and secondly, it was taken from a work by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a precursor for the wide-ranging collaborations with women artists that have followed. These have included a show set by Judy Chicago, a photographic tome by Brigitte Niedermair, and the invitation to Grace Wales Bonner to give her riff on the house’s bar jacket as part of Chiuri’s Cruise 2020 collection.

La Galerie Dior exhibition celebrates women artists

Dior Exhibition Paris

Brigitte Niedermair’s image of Chiuri’s ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ T-shirt

(Image credit: Photography by Adrien Dirand, courtesy of Dior)

It is in this spirit that a new exhibition opens at La Galerie Dior, the house’s recently inaugurated museum at 30 Avenue Montaigne (opening 75 years after Christian Dior presented his first collection there, the renovated hôtel particulier also houses a vast new flagship store, restaurant and luxury private suite, where VIP shoppers can stay overnight). The exhibition celebrates Dior’s ongoing collaboration with women artists – particularly under Chiuri – as well as notable personalities from the house’s history. As with all of Dior’s projects, the exhibition is rooted in the house founder’s life and design philosophy; in this case, the exhibition recalls Christian Dior’s own love of art, having begun his career as a gallery owner. Art, design, music and literature would continue to inform his collections until his death in 1957.

As such, one of the exhibition’s most precious objects is a 1930s painting by female Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, which Christian Dior displayed while he was a gallerist (ever the soothsayer, Carrington’s work has recently enjoyed a renaissance, featuring prominently in the Tate’s ‘Surrealism Beyond Borders’ in 2022). Another figure in the exhibition is Niki de Saint Phalle, the American painter and sculptor whose colourful works would inspire Marc Bohan, the house’s creative director from the 1960s through to the 1980s. Later, Grazia Chiuri would use this relationship as inspiration for her own S/S 2018 collection.

Dior Exhibition Paris

The ‘chambre aux merveilles’ which features various Lady Art handbags

(Image credit: Photography by Adrien Dirand, courtesy of Dior)

Elsewhere, the exhibition explores the works of the numerous artists who have collaborated with Grazia Chiuri, among them Eva Jospin, Brigitte Lacombe and Katerina Jebb – their various works providing reflections of the designer’s collections. Completing the exhibition are different interpretations of the Lady Dior handbag, created by female artists as part of the house’s Lady Art project. Displayed as a wunderkammer of curiosities, the designs demonstrate the breadth of Grazia Chiuri’s collaborative project, one that continued this past fashion week when she united with Italian artist Elena Bellantoni on the set for her S/S 2024 ready-to-wear collection. There, enormous screens flashed between Bellantoni’s playful send-offs of sexist advertisements, from the 1950s to now.

The exhibition runs from 24 November 2023 to 13 May 2024 at La Galerie Dior, Paris. 

galeriedior.com

Dior Exhibition Paris

Katerina Jebb’s scan of a historic Dior gown

(Image credit: Photography by Adrien Dirand, courtesy of Dior)
Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.