The Paris fashion house asked a group of 17 global artists to reimagine its iconic Medallion chair.
Almost exactly 75 years ago, legendary couturier Christian Dior commenced design work on 30 Avenue Montaigne, an elegant hôtel particulier in Paris that would become the storied fashion house’s beating heart. Dior selected decorator Victor Grandpierre to concoct interiors that were at the height of genteel refinement, channeling the Louis XVI style that Dior adored and would return to in his garments again and again. “Our tastes were perfectly in tune, thanks to a shared search for our childhood paradises,” Dior said.
One recurring motif throughout the atelier was the medallion, an oval shape that could be found in everything from decorative objects to furnishings. In fact, medallion chairs, clad in elegant toile, became a signature of Dior’s fashionable empire—and remains so to this day.
The house’s interiors collection, Dior Maison, recently tapped 17 international artists, designers, and architects to reimagine the Medallion chair, a project that was unveiled at the Salone del Mobile fair in Milan this week. Some of the schemes distill the seat to its most basic elements, like a minimalist version by French artist Pierre Charpin consisting of nothing more than black hoops for the seat and back. Others bring new twists to the classic, such as Pierre Yovanovitch’s curvaceous contribution, upholstered in Dior’s iconic logo fabric. Or they conjure the future, like architect Ma Yansong’s “Meteor” chair, whose 3D-printed frame looks as if it could streak across the night sky. Milan-based design firm Dimorestudio, meanwhile, added a historic patina to its creation, a gray chair (the signature shade of 30 Avenue Montaigne) punctuated by gold fissures and chips.
Each iteration is delightfully different—something Monsieur Dior himself would surely have appreciated. As the couturier once quipped: “Individuality will always be one of the conditions of real elegance.”