Just beyond the illuminated passage where visitors enter La Galerie Dior, there is a photograph of the “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirt that continues to define Maria Grazia Chiuri’s ethos as creative director of the women’s Dior universe. The assertive statement (from the title of a book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) strikes differently in this image by Brigitte Niedermair, however. Stretched across and bunched upon a wood board, it looks more like an assemblage artwork or makeshift sign than something that Rihanna and Natalie Portman have worn.
It is a fitting introduction to an exhibition where the living legacy of Dior appears alongside works from women artists who express this extraordinary fashion canon with their own meaning and experience.
Twice per year since the Paris museum opened in March 2022, La Galerie Dior restages its captivating presentation of archive creations, art, objects, and documents, which span Monsieur Dior’s upbringing to collections that bowed mere months ago.
This latest “scenographic narrative” brings together an array of talents—living and deceased—who exist within Chiuri’s generous and pluralistic feminine vision. Some artists, such as Niki de Saint Phalle, Judy Chicago, and Elina Chauvet, have played a central role in the collections or runway shows, while Katerina Jebb, Shourouk Rhaiem, Yuriko Takagi, and Constance Guisset are among those whose have contributed to special cultural projects.
According to director Olivier Flaviano, this is the first of the exhibitions to coherently play out through every room like a thread to follow from start to finish. Just as significant, he says that the presentation transforms the fashion, typically considered “the object” of an exhibition, into “the subject”—that is, there is an additional layer, a conversation that has taken place.
If you are among the roughly 650,000 people who have already experienced this richly detailed immersion into the maison, you will return to the same sequence of rooms while discovering a new selection of garments that correspond with the art on display. This is also motivated by preserving pieces that are too fragile to remain exposed for extended periods of time.