Dior’s love story with Japan in Designer of Dreams Exhibit in Tokyo. Explore the ties that bond one of the biggest fashion houses in the world and Japan in this latest exhibition.
The ‘Designer of Dreams’ exhibition is a retrospective and celebration of the brand’s 7-decade-long history. This exhibition previously showed in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris before finding a new home in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo (MOT). With a long and bountiful history with Japan, it’s only natural that the luxury brand has decided that Tokyo was its next destination.
Dating way back to 1953, Dior presented their first runway presentation in Japan, a time when other luxury houses have yet to take that much importance in the Japanese market yet. In the words of curator Florence Muller, “Dior had a lot of respect for traditional Japanese culture, and he wrote about it in his memoir. I think there is a mutual fascination between France and Japan.”
The 1950s also marked the beginning of Dior’s collaboration with Japanese companies where they were given the rights to readapt Dior’s original designs in order to better suit local audiences. With this partnership, Dior easily became a beloved luxury brand in the country with even former Empress Michiko choosing Dior to take the lead for her wedding gown in her eloping with Prince Akihito in 1959.
The exhibition also features a newly reimagine interior that is designed by Japanese architect, Shohei Shigematsu. Throughout the visit, visitors will get to walk through more than 10 different sets that each tells a different angle of Dior and Japan’s love story. Guests will be welcomed into a black room with contrasting white clothing showing pieces from Dior’s iconic ‘New Look’ collection. As they walk through the exhibition, visitors are able to see 350 haute couture dresses including historic archive garments and rarely seen Japan-inspired pieces like the ‘The Great Wave Off Kanagawa’ coat by John Galliano.
To top it all off, Dior collaborated with senior photographer Yuriko Takagi on a sentimental editorial that honours pieces from the different eras of Dior. To explore how Dior’s creations work with movement, Takagi worked with dancers instead of models. This set of photos is displayed throughout the exhibition but also featured in the merchandise range including a book that honours the ties between Dior and Japan.