Earlier this week, the house of Dior opened a little gem of a boutique on the Avenue Montaigne in Paris dedicated to a perhaps overlooked category of design: homeware. We know Christian Dior for the dresses, the New Look, the saddle bags, Miss Diors, and the like, but the house is looking now to expand its universe to include every room of the house.
The brand calls it a “showcase for dreams and the imagination”, citing Monsieur Dior’s own tastes and sensibilities as an interior decorator. There’s some synergy there with his work as a dressmaker and designer, because before fashion he had desired to become an architect. And indeed, that sense of line and construction would find itself in his creations as a couturier, and these days richly referenced by Maria Grazia Chiuri.
This boutique’s choice of location is also synergistic with the brand’s flagship on 30 Avenue Montaigne – just a little down the road – where Monsieur Dior first established his couture house.
The homeware collections themselves, of course, take freely from the design archives of the house and the personal lore of the man himself. There’s lily of the valley, Dior’s floral lucky charm, realised as a delicate motif on bone china. The muguet flowers, which he used to grow in his garden in Milly-la-Forêt, are an elegant emblem of a French style of living and entertaining.
Cordelia de Castellane, the Artistic Director of both Dior Maison and Baby Dior, has a lovely understated style that hardly ever approaches vulgarity. For example, the immediately recognisable style of the house’s cannage quilting pattern is reprised tastefully on tableware in shades of burnished gold, beige, and white. More than bags and clothing, these seem to draw more from the Napoleon chairs that the house used to seat its guests on, and the linear rigour that permeates even store design.
And if you prefer a more au-courant style to link your plates to your fashion? There’s the toile de jouy pattern, which features heavily in the boutique on upholstered furniture. These will probably be most instantly familiar because of the revival it’s enjoyed in Maria Grazia Chiuri’s haute couture and ready-to-wear collections as a modern house signature – pun unintended, though it’s now both reality and option.