The Fabulous World of Dior
Michael Meir-Wright explores the new Christmas collaboration
As the nights draw in and December inches closer, we’re now beginning to see signs of the impending yuletide season. Cities are awash with winter markets, festive décor and twinkling lights. Nowhere is this more apparent than at London’s epicentre of opulence, Harrods. The venerated department store has partnered with Dior for an installation of light, art, gastronomy and fashion that has seen it transformed into a gingerbread house writ large. Entitled The Fabulous World of Dior, it’s an enthralling celebration of the adamantine relationship between the two iconic luxury institutions that stretches back seven decades.
Dior first opened a boutique within establishment’s hallowed halls in 1953. The founding couturier himself was an impassioned anglophile and was taken with many elements of the society at the time. The boutique remains on the site to this day; a constant presence to remind us of the enduring nature of the relationship.
This marriage of quintessential British charm and undeniable French elegance is evident from the start. The store’s Brompton Road façade has been adorned in a bewitching light installation that pays homage to the compass rose, a motif dear to Monsieur Dior. The largest of these stands at over 17m, the largest ever structure to grace the building’s Edwardian architecture.
Accompanying the illuminations are the 44 Harrods Christmas windows, reimagined by Dior. Scenery made of gingerbread, a traditional British festive treat, and punctuated with sculpted sugar and caramel are made to appeal to the child in us all.
The wonder continues within the store thanks to two pop-up experiences. The first recreates much of 30 Montaigne, the original atelier and the birthplace of countless Dior creations. Also lovingly constructed in gingerbread, it becomes a fascinating voyage through the storied history of one of the world’s most elegant brands.
Elsewhere, a gift shop pays homage to current creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, with the Dior Chez Moi capsule that evokes memories of her first collection. Finally, no Dior experience would be complete with a dedicated café. Full of old-world aristocratic charm, it speaks to the pleasures of receiving guests, something the founding couturier loved to do.
As we enter the waning weeks of the year, The Fabulous World of Dior stands as the ideal escape from the trials that have recently preoccupied an uncertain world.
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