An organizational drawing from 1953, showing the Christian Dior buildings on the corner of Avenue Montaigne and Rue François 1er in Paris.
"I am determined to set myself up here and nowhere else!” is what Christian Dior is said to have exclaimed when first laying eyes upon the Hôtel de Millon d’Ailly de Verneuil (1865–68), the Parisian mansion that would later become the HQ for Dior. Anna is seen getting comfortable in the famous staircase, which during the early couture shows of the 1940s and 50s also served as seating for illustruous guests like Jean Cocteau or Marlene Dietrich.
After two years of construction led by architect Peter Marino, Dior recently reopened its historic Parisian headquarters to the public again, just in time for the iconic French maison’s 75th anniversary. Dressed in head-to-toe Dior, Anna is ready to take a peek inside.
Nearly 1,500 miniature, 3D-printed Dior objects — from Lady Dior purses, Book totes, Saddle bags, and New Look dresses, arranged in a kaleidoscope of rainbow colors — line the walls of the staircase of La Galerie Dior. Located in the same building at 30 Avenue Montaigne, the space retraces the late designer’s trajectory from Norman country boy to king of Parisian couture.
Coucou! Every corner of 30 Avenue Montaigne is filled with distinguished works of art, like this kinetic sculpture by American artist Alexander Calder, or two tables by the French artist Philippe Hiquily, known for his biomorphic furniture and sculptures.
Above the marble fireplace in one of the second-floor salons hangs a large collage from the 2015 El Esplendor Geométrico series, created by the Mexican artist Carlos Amorales. Flowers, like the bouquet in the foreground, hold an important place in the oeuvre of Christian Dior. To honor the designer’s floral fascination, artist Jennifer Steinkamp created a ten-foot-wide video installation, specially commissioned for 30 Avenue Montaigne, showing flowers in motion.
Isa Genzken’s Rose II (2007) pierces the atrium at 30 Avenue Montaigne. The 28-foot-tall sculpture is one of many important works of art that are cropping up all over the newly renovated space. Another version of Rose II is installed in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
According to the book Dior: The Legendary 30 Avenue Montaigne by Maureen Footer and Jérôme Hanover (Rizzoli, 2022), when the House of Dior first opened in 1947, the haute couture and high jewelry ateliers counted 60 female employees, all dressed in white smocks. This recreation of an atelier is part of La Galerie Dior, the in-house haute couture gallery that is part of the renovated 30 Avenue Montaigne. Seen here is a classic couture cutting table surrounded by dress mannequins covered in toile blanches, the cotton fabric used to create prototypes for dresses.
Three gardens punctuate the space at 30 Avenue Montaigne, all of which were designed by Peter Wirtz, son of the legendary Belgian landscape architect Jacques Wirtz. Dior and Wirtz have a long history of collaboration which also includes sets for runway shows.
The two-story Dior boutique also features a restaurant and café, outfitted by Peter Marino in classic Dior houndstooth-patterned textiles. Led by chef Jean Imbert, the restaurant and café also showcase many objects from the Dior Maison line. On the table: Monsieur Dior dinner plates, Cannage knives, Cannage forks, and Cannage glasses. Bon app!