The Fabulous World of Dior at Harrods department store in London. Story by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE. Photo Courtesy: Dior / Adrien Dirand.
The Fabulous World of Dior at Harrods department store in London. One of the most magical stories for Christmas is a story about Gingerbread. Imagine a house, dresses, atelier, bags – everything is gingerbread cookies. Cinnamon, honey and sugar – all of it is Dior.
As the holiday season approaches, Dior has created The Fabulous World of Dior, a spectacular presentation illuminating the hallowed halls of the legendary Harrods department store. An exceptional event combining the charm of the English spirit with French luxury and art de vivre refinement.
A fervent admirer of England, from 1953 Christian Dior developed a powerful and unbreakable bond with Harrods, London’s epicenter of British elegance. This story, beginning with Harrods’ earliest singular branded boutique, has continued to grow through exclusive collaborations and is now enriched by a new chapter, unique in its scope and creative daring, inspired by the magic of Christmas.
From November 10 to January 3, 2023, the façade of the Brompton Road edifice will be adorned with a monumental installation aglow with a play of light radiantly showcasing Dior’s fundamental references as reinterpreted by artist Pietro Ruffo for the Dior cruise 2023 collection. The compass rose, lucky stars and scintillating flowers will guide visitors along the historic window displays – a captivating attraction that draws people from all over the world, transformed and brought to life by a fantastic gingerbread tableau. A journey that stretches the limits of the imagination, exploring the House’s different worlds and symbols, from fashion to beauty.
A tribute to the enthralling moments that brighten winter, an unparalleled new scenography, reflecting the passionate creativity of Dior, reinvents the forty-four traditional Christmas windows of Harrods. An exaltation of end-of-year festive magic, through the House’s symbols and diverse universes. For the first time in the history of the department store, each of these iconic displays – from Brompton Road to Hans Crescent, via part of Basil Street – is converted into a small theater of wonder, with scenery made of gingerbread – an essential English Christmas treat – punctuated by moldings and details sculpted in sugar and caramel, tickling the fancy of those with a sweet tooth and expanding the imagination of all.
As if on an initiatory journey, the Granville villa and Monsieur Dior’s atelier invite visitors to explore the House’s heritage, while the facade of a miniature 30 Montaigne is unveiled in an animated version, where Dior’s classic silhouettes and accessories dance. As an enchanting surprise, certain emblematic dresses from Dior’s patrimony – such as the Tourbillon, Soirée d’Asie and Junon models – are completely reinterpreted in confectionery and candy form. The Bar Jacket, the Lady Dior, the Dior Book Tote, and the Medallion chair – transformed by Philippe Starck and presented at the Salone del Mobile 2022 – are by turns spotlighted in the windows of the building.
The Dior Prestige ritual, lipsticks and fragrances – such as J’adore, Eau Sauvage, Miss Dior and the olfactory works of La Collection Privée – also appear in sumptuous exhibits, sometimes depicting a forest of pine trees made of cookies, sometimes a joyful flurry of candy balloons, boldly conveying the House’s excellence in beauty, from skincare to perfume.
A magnetic Shepherd’s Star, placed as a central sculpture – erected to the height of seventeen meters, the building’s largest to date –, seems to dance weightlessly in front of the dome and guides visitors within. Opening the doors of this prestigious setting, they will discover two unprecedented pop-up stores that draw their decor from the most beautiful Christmas fairytales and navigate visitors through this refuge of the marvelous where a multitude of original creations, specially designed for the event, come to life.
This enchanting pause in time reveals a thousand surprises, including a poetic exhibition reproducing, in an amazing play on scale and proportion, the architecture of Dior’s iconic locations – from Granville to La Colle Noire, via 30 Montaigne. To end this dreamlike voyage into the heart of the Dior odyssey, the Maison also launches the Café Dior at Harrods, in homage to British culture and the pleasure of receiving guests, dear to Monsieur Dior.
In the heart of this prestigious venue, a thousand fascinating surprises and animated decors, enhanced by gourmet treats, await customers. Two dreamlike pop-ups – an ode to Monsieur Dior’s attachment to the celebration of Christmas and the art of cherishing loved ones – along with a Café specially conceived for the occasion, and even a truly immersive exhibition that plays with proportions to enchant the senses, promise unforgettable moments of joy and sharing.
A magical invitation that combines the boldness and heritage of the two Houses, united more than ever by a quest for excellence and the desire to keep the Dior dream alive.
Inside the landmark department store, two novel pop-up boutiques draw their fantastic decor from the most beautiful Christmas fairytales. The first, designed as an authentic gingerbread house representing Monsieur Dior’s Atelier, summons visitors to enter the secret wings of 30 Montaigne, to discover the House and the virtuosity of its creations behind the scenes. Transported by a conveyor belt, the Lady Dior reveals its architectural lines in a mesmerizing ballet, illustrating the effervescence of Santa’s workshop just a few days before December 25.
Within the display, the Dior Book Tote expresses its singularity through exquisite embroidery and design traits, in a mischievous and delectable interplay of optical illusions. Leather goods accessories and irresistible micro-bags enrich this exceptional selection, cultivating a sense of absolute wonder.
A delicate suggestion and ultimate surprise, the second pop-up, an ephemeral gift shop, invites each
and all to find the perfect present – from ready-to-wear to shoes – to delight their loved ones. A tribute to those suspended instants of wintertime, knit sweaters are adorned with poetic patterns, as are the homeware items in the Dior Chez Moi capsule, suggesting a new art of living with a softer touch. Evoking the first ever collection of Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior, a series of t-shirts feature prints that assert the Creative Director’s socially aware vision.
This space, conceived as a refined cabinet of curiosities, is a sublime homage to the art of giving so dear to Monsieur Dior, deeply rooted in the history and identity of the House.
Initiating a captivating encounter between the different customs that brighten the end of year festivities, from the City of Light to the English capital, Dior has conceived a unique, unprecedented exhibition – a real “kingdom of dreams” specially designed for Harrods – which revisits the tradition of gingerbread houses.
In the heart of the British department store, a fabulous exhibition is unveiled, reproducing the architecture of Dior’s emblematic locations – from Granville to La Colle Noire and 30 Montaigne – in reduced proportions. A fantasy universe, entirely composed of finely crafted cookies, punctuated with arabesques and delicate drawings, an expression of the audacity and art of detail so important to the House.
Playing with optical effects and dimensions, this work – both miniature and grandiose – calls us to rediscover from a new perspective the landmark places within the history of Christian Dior. From the garden of his mother, Madeleine Dior, in Normandy – where, as a child, the founding couturier developed a passion for flowers – to the dream workshop where he drew his first fairy-tale dresses; from the Château de la Colle Noire and on to the ateliers where the collections were created, this enchanting promenade invites young and old alike to contemplate, as the light changes from break of day to nightfall, numerous animated scenes recounting the Dior odyssey.
Here, in Granville, it is a gingerbread Monsieur Dior who is thinking about the future silhouettes he will fashion. Further on, at La Colle Noire, he tries his hand at embroidery, surrounded by the bees of “the little hive buzzing with activity” – as he affectionately referred to his atelier of seamstresses – while in the perfume atelier, a scale model of the original Miss Dior dress comes to life, echoing the first Dior fragrance that has now attained cult status. On Avenue Montaigne, a mischievous fairy transforms a piece of candy into a Bar jacket with a wave of her wand. A few steps down the aisles of this “refuge of the marvelous”, and it is the petites mains of the House that are busy, alongside the artisans stitching and re-stitching the graphics of the signature cannage upon the iconic Lady Dior.
This incredible feat in miniature, made possible by the virtuosity of craft and expert savoir-faire
– from sculpture to animation – celebrates the excellence of the House in all its forms, from haute couture to perfumes. Immersive and playful, this experience, where time seems to be suspended, allows all to observe, as if through a magnifying glass, the meticulous gestures that perpetuate the Dior magic.
An unparalleled escape to discover the heritage and inspirations of the House through beauty and the unexpected.
Cultivating Monsieur Dior’s love of the art of gastronomy, the House of Dior is inaugurating at Harrods a new and extraordinary venue dedicated to delighting the taste buds. A tribute to British hospitality and the pleasure of entertaining, so dear to the founding couturier, a tearoom is unveiled in an unprecedented stage set, entirely adorned with gingerbread from the facade to the interior design and even the tiniest details, where Dior’s distinctive fundamentals are sketched. The Medallion chairs are dressed in iconic Dior toile de Jouy, the patterns of which can also be seen on the wooden tables, while the lines of the Maison’s signature cannage decorate the tableware, illuminated by delicate golden hues.
In a fairy tale setting, like the house in Hansel and Gretel, you can discover the great classics of French cuisine and culinary specialties with a twist of British influence, such as Cornish crab with green apple, Atlantic lobster Thermidor and its yuzu vinaigrette, or a roasted chestnut velouté with winter chanterelles, all conceptualized and created by Harrods brigade of masterful chefs. Those with a sweet tooth will be enticed to taste a selection of gourmet creations – such as tarte tatin or pear baba – and pastries reinventing traditional Christmas desserts, including a sumptuous honey cake in the shape of a Christmas tree.
As a final surprise, the House has created a remarkable collection of irresistible gingerbread biscuits for Café Dior at Harrods, reinterpreting Dior’s symbols: the Bar jacket, the Dior Book Tote, Saddle and Lady Dior bags, the compass rose, the J’adore perfume, the Oblique suit, the signature CD Diamond motif and even the 30 Montaigne plaque. Dior collector’s treats with a couture spirit available exclusively at Harrods, to be given as a gift, or to take home. A little piece of dreams come true.