It’s never just about the clothes for Christian Dior. His magic lingered beyond his designs; lingered through 30 Avenue Montaigne from the ambience, the décor — all the way down to the Louis XVI-style chairs that seated guests at his atelier. This season, the chair is re-imagined and made personal, made artistic. Made present.
If you’ve ever wondered about the faceted oval etched onto the surface of Diorama and Diorissimo Eau de Parfum coffrets, it’s not merely a stylistic choice; it’s an emblematic one.
Harkening back to the ovoid backrests of the Louis XVI-style medallion chairs Christian Dior populated his showrooms with since the inception of his Maison, the shape is then, for all intents and purposes, as much a motif for Dior as the Cannage stitching; the Lady Dior; the CD initials.
This season, the medallion chair — a piece of furniture Dior once described as “sober, simple and above all classic and Parisian” in his memoirs — is rendered much, much less sober, simple or classic through the idiosyncratic interpretation of seventeen artists from Japan, to Italy by way of Korea, to Lebanon, to France.
Jinyeong Yeon of Seoul, for example, repurposed textured aluminium sheets you might otherwise see cross-hatched across factory floors for his interpretation of the medallion chair, a texture he previously used in his Ignored Patterns series from 2020.
Chinese architect Ma Yansong’s renditions are caught, it appears, in a wind tunnel following submersions in vats of polyurethane.
Joy de Rohan Chabot’s ethereal, fairy tale-like tribute morphs and twists in vines; in branches of gold; in petals dipped in brass.
Interpretations of the Dior Medallion Chair were on display at Milan’s Salone del Mobile 2021 through 10 September. Click through for a walk-through of the stunning exhibition here and a run-down of all seventeen artists’ interpretations here.