LE GOÛT de ... Christian Dior
Gallery owner, designer, painter, as much as gardener, nature lover,
gardens, flowers, and ... passionately roses ...
Gourmet, greedy, friend of decorators, artists ...
... such is in fact, the complex personality of Christian Dior.
He was born in 1905, in a wealthy industrialists family. It is in this house, in Normandy, in Granville , a pretty bourgeois villa with a pink facade and a grey roof, with its park facing the peaceful Channel Islands, that his passion for the art of the garden will be born. shared with his beloved mother, Madeleine. Christian Dior is particularly fond of this place and will write in his memoir book, "Christian Dior et moi" “The house of my childhood ... I have the fondest and most amazed memories of it. What did I say ? my life, my style, owe almost everything to its location and its architecture ”.
His parents having diplomatic ambitions for their son, the young Christian Dior joined Sciences Po ' (politics) at the age of 18.
When it came out, it was a completely different passion that retained all its ambition.
He is in his twenties, and divides his time between the family home of Granville and the capital where he befriends the composer Henri Sauguet and spends most of his evenings at the Bœuf sur le Toit with Erik Satie, Jean Cocteau, or Fernand Léger… It is in this Paris of the Roaring Twenties, where the literary, artistic and musical avant-garde of the 1920s rub shoulders, that the fate of this young man who dreams of being an artist is sealed. Christian Dior aspires to be an architect, painter or even a musician. He will ultimately be a gallery owner.
From 1928 associated with Jacques Bonjean then with Pierre Colle, he contributed to reveal the talent of Max Jacob, the Berman brothers, Raoul Dufy, Giorgio de Chirico or Salvator Dali, before the explosion of the crisis of 29, caused ruin of his father and leads to the closing of the galleries. The adventure ended in 1934.
It will follow a "crossing of the desert", a period during which he will sell fashion sketches to newspapers, then to big houses like Nina Ricci or Balenciaga, before the Second World War breaks out.
At the end of the war, the decisive meeting with Marcel Boussac marked the start of another adventure in 1946, that of the creation of the Couture house Christian Dior.
Thus begins the third part of the life of the talented Monsieur Dior. The metamorphosis of the gallery owner into a great couturier and the enduring links with artists, whether they are painters, photographers, writers, poets, musicians or decorators. We will particularly remember here Christian Bérard, Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy for the decoration of his shops and apartments and René Gruau for the creation and illustration of his advertisements.
30, Avenue Montaigne
Christian Bérard and Jean-Michel frank, screen
Victor Grandpierre and Christian Dior
It was Victor Grandpierre who imagined the “decorated but not decorative” atmosphere of 30 avenue Montaigne, which has become famous for its Helleu salon, white and pearl gray, its Louis XVI-inspired medallion chairs.
Victor Grandpierre and Georges Geffroy with whom he forms an outstanding creative trio. their collaboration and elective friendship helped build Dior identity codes, tributes to the neoclassical style.
For his apartment on Boulevard Jules-Sandeau in the 16th arrondissement, the couturier will call on another of his relatives, the designer Georges Geffroy. This craftsman of the Dior style composes, alongside Victor Grandpierre, a plush interior where all the artistic tastes of the creator flourish in an abundant and refined eclecticism. Drawing by Matisse, Gothic tapestry, Renaissance bronze… find harmony here, a unique Blue Note. "The rules of good taste do not matter since they must, in my home, give way to those of my own taste, which adapts very well to all these connections ", confides Christian Dior in his autobiography before adding that " to an impeccably decorated interior ”, he will always prefer“ one, more sensitive and more alive, which has been made little by little, according to the existence and the whims of its inhabitant ”.
Finally, to evoke Christian Dior without speaking of the Epicurean is to miss an essential facet of his personality. "A man who possessed a sense and a cult of beauty, always in search of perfection, man of spirit and heart, fine gourmet, for whom the things of the table and of gastronomy were the work of God and of men " . Preface by Raymond Thuilier for the book "La Cuisine cousu main" Christian Dior