Cultured Magazine

April/May 2016

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DIOR'S NEW LOOK The latest silhouette cut by the House of Dior takes its inspiration from the gallery rather than the runway. BY BEE SHAPIRO It's not easy to draw attention away from Raf Simons' last collection for Christian Dior, unless of course it's to a Charlotte Perriand console table or a sculpture by Larry Bell. Such is the case at Dior's new Miami Design District boutique—the latest to join the art- and architecture-fueled fashion expansion. Inside the boutique—a modernized version of the Peter Marino-designed Avenue Montaigne Dior flagship in Paris—you're greeted by Terence Main's Five cast aluminum bench, which has become something of a signature for the French house, acting as sentry at the entryway (it can be found resting inside other Dior stores in Shanghai and Florence). Indeed, the reason Dior is opening a store in the Design District is precisely because of the city's "organic relationship between art and fashion and the growing convergence of these two influences," says Pamela Baxter, the president and CEO of Christian Dior. "With Art Basel and hundreds of other museum exhibitions, gallery shows and creative pop-ups taking over the city, Miami has reinvented itself as a design capital." Certainly, the new store's art-fashion spectacular doesn't stop there; like a modern luxury gallery, nearly a dozen pieces decorate the three-floor space. You might discover a Véronique Rivemale desk lamp accompanying the fine jewelry and watches, or perhaps you'll chance upon the Nucleo Presenze console, designed by a collective of artists in Torino, Italy, amongst the glamorous ready-to-wear on the second floor. Take the grand staircase and you'll spy Paris- based digital artist Oyoram's video wall art. Book a VIP appointment for the salon on the third floor and you'll enjoy views of not only hanging sculptures by New Mexico-based artist Bell but also that of the Dior Homme store, just a block away. And like the perfect couture dress, the interior is as thoughtful as the exterior. "We tried to find a design that's not bound by time—that's ageless," says Benjamin Bancel of Barbarito Bancel Architectes. "But it's difficult to find one design that is timeless but also fashionable." The solution? Use the city's bountiful natural light. Referencing Dior couture of the 1950s and the current minimalist-minded collections, Bancel and associate Ivana Barbarito layered pieces of marble-flecked concrete so that when struck by sunlight, the entire building appears to shine. "The smooth panels play with the light and create a sense of volume and curves," Bancel says, adding that the overall theme of the design is based on architect Louis I. Kahn's quote: "The sun never knew how great it was until it struck the side of a building." PHOTO BY ALDO SPERBER 148 culturedmag.com "We tried to find a design that's not bound by time—that's ageless. It's difficult to find one design that is timeless but also fashionable."

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