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Dior & Roses - Book and Exhibition

June 28, 2021

A symbol of grace, love and femininity, the rose is at the heart of the House’s inspirations. On the occasion of an exhibition dedicated to this bloom — at the Christian Dior Museum in Granville* — Dior is publishing an exceptional book celebrating the queen of flowers.


Illustration by René Gruau for the Miss Dior fragrance, 1966.
© René Gruau –


“Fortunately, there are flowers,” Christian Dior confided in his memoirs. Of all those the founding couturier cultivated with enthusiasm, there was one he admired above all others: the rose. Its history, mythology, and representations are now revealed in a book. Like a canticle, the beauty of the rose is revealed through the prisms of fashion, art and perfumery, delicately etching out the Dior odyssey.


The origins of Christian Dior’s passion took root in the family rose garden at the Villa des Rhumbs in Granville, Normandy. Years later, once he’d become a couturier, Dior took inspiration from that muse, its color and petals, sources of infinite creativity, to dream up the dresses in his first collection – the iconic New Look: “I designed femmes-fleurs, women flowers with soft shoulders, blossoming busts, waists as slender as lianas and skirts as wide as corollas.” From 1947 to 1957, numerous silhouettes with evocative names would reflect this fascination, such as the Rose France, Rose Thé, Rose Pompon, Rose de Damas...



Black rose with a hidden purse underneath the petals, 1952. Christian Dior.
Photograph by Henry Clarke, Vogue Paris, October 1952.
© Henry Clarke, Musée Galliera / Adagp, Paris 2021.


Headdress made of silk wildflowers, adorned with bees,
from the Spring—Summer 2017 Haute Couture collection
Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri, in collaboration with Stephen Jones.
Photograph by Tierney Gearon. © Tierney Gearon.


Moving from haute couture to olfactory creations: the first fragrance, Miss Dior, holds a place of honor. A marvelous saga that can’t go without an homage to Dior’s sister, for whom it was named. A discreet heroine with an exceptional personality, Catherine Dior made flowers her profession. Today, her field of Centifolia roses, located in the Grasse region, still ennobles the House’s fragrance trails. This floral tradition continues more than ever in Normandy, where in 2020 thousands of Granville roses were planted to enhance Dior skincare products.



Tableau Final formal gown,
Spring–Summer 1951 Haute Couture collection, Naturelle line. Christian Dior.
Photograph by Willy Maywald (colorized).
© Association Willy Maywald/Adagp, Paris 2021.



Musique de fête evening dress in “Marie-Antoinette blue” organdie with pink roses at the waist,
Spring–Summer 1955 Haute Couture collection, A line. Christian Dior.
Dior Héritage collection, Paris. Photo © Laziz Hamani.



The rose appears throughout these pages like a thread intertwining various territories of expression, bringing together heritage and inventiveness. Lending itself to a game of reinterpretation, its virtues, like its intoxicating scent, have continuously elevated femininity at Dior; its exquisite lines and palette of nuances have guided the House’s Artistic Directors, from Yves Saint Laurent to Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and, today, Maria Grazia Chiuri. An eternal emblem perpetuating the Dior dream.



Manuela dress in coral faille with a rose of the same fabric on the belt,
Spring–Summer 1959 Haute Couture collection, Longue line. Christian Dior by Yves Saint Laurent.
Christian Dior Museum collection, Granville. Photo © Laziz Hamani.



RoseDior Jaune de Naples ring. Yellow gold, diamonds, and yellow diamonds.
Dior High Jewelry by Victoire de Castellane, 2021. © Dior.


*The Dior and roses exhibition is scheduled to open at the Musée Christian Dior in Granville, Normandy from June 5th to October 31st 2021 (health and safety guidelines permitting). For the occasion, the eponymous book is being published by Rizzoli New York.






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