Icy Ling, CEO and Co-Founder of IC & Co

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22 Jul 2023

For spring-summer 1948, without ever having traveled to China, Christian Dior designed a look baptized Shanghai. This taste for Eastern cultures was already evident in the decoration and ornaments of Asian inspiration in his childhood home. Recalling these influences, the couturier expressed his fascination for this country through his collections, as evidenced in his silhouettes Pe?kin, Chinoiseries, Nuit de Chine and Bleu de Chine, while he spotlighted the art of calligraphy and ideograms with a print on a dress in the Verticale collection from 1950.

In 1980, these exchanges continued and crystallized as Dior opened its first boutique in Hong Kong, followed by Shanghai in 1994. In 2008, twenty-one designers from the Chinese avant-garde revisited the House’s universe and codes at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing. Next came the itinerant exhibition Lady Dior As Seen By, first in Beijing and Shanghai, and in 2013 in Hong Kong. On this occasion, creators from around the world were invited to share their vision of this emblematic bag. The same year, the Esprit Dior exhibition took place at the MoCA in Shanghai and the following year came the one devoted to Miss Dior, orchestrated in 2015 at the Shanghai Sculpture Space, and then UCCA, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, revealing the works of several women artists. From 2014 to 2015, Le The?a?tre Dior was staged in various Chinese cities, starting with Chengdu.

Another high point, Monsieur Dior’s love of the color blue was honored in 2017 with the I Feel Blue exhibition at the West Bund Art & Design. Then, in 2019 and 2020, the Shanghai Exhibition Center hosted the fourth and fifth editions of the Dior Lady Art project, celebrating the iconic Lady Dior.

Affirming even further this unfailing friendship, the House’s collections are regularly flown to China for exclusive de?file?s, such as the spring-summer 2018 haute couture show at the Shangai East Coast Minsheng Art Pier, followed by a sumptuous Dior Ball. On this occasion, the Maison revealed a series of unprecedented pieces, including a Dior Book Tote bag and a J’Adior bracelet, with “Shanghai” embroidered on both. The spring-summer 2020 ready-to-wear line – presented after Paris at the Shanghai Exhibition Center – was enriched by a capsule partly inspired by the Mutabilis rose, devised as a poetic homage to Chinese culture. For Fall 2021, Dior joined the official calendar of the Shanghai Fashion Week as a guest of honor. The outfits dreamed up by Maria Grazia Chiuri were unveiled in a new light during a repeat show – complete with several new silhouettes – organized at the Long Museum West Bund.

The latter, initiating a captivating dialogue between different creative domains, had already welcomed the unmissable retrospective Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams in 2020, writing a new scenographic narrative that crowned more than seventy years of virtuoso passion, punctuated by the works of seven prestigious Chinese artists. In 2021, this enchanting adventure pursued at Chengdu’s MoCA.

On July 12, 2023, it shall be the turn of the autumn-winter 2023-2024 ready-to-wear looks to cross borders and take the stage for a unique event at Shenzhen’s Sea World Culture and Arts Center.

These powerful artistic bonds are renewed today through the Art’N Dior exhibitions traveling around the country, from Shenzhen to Shanghai and Nanjing. An ode to the legacy of Christian Dior – who was a gallery owner before becoming a couturier – offering a captivating odyssey exploring the history and creativity of Dior.

On the occasion of the China International Import Expo (CIIE), alongside the LVMH Group Houses, Dior has highlighted since 2019 the plurality of its heritage and its boundless inventiveness.

A celebration of dreams, joy and beauty in all its forms, reinforcing more than ever the multiple affinities between Dior and China.

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