The flower of spring, among the first to bloom and herald the reawakening of Mother Nature: the lily-of-the-valley (muguet, in French), more than any other flower, follows the rhythm of the seasons. Just like the collections. It also brings good luck and, since the Renaissance, it's been customary in France to offer it on the first day of May. It was Christian Dior's favorite flower, as much for its symbolism as its aesthetic. In the couturier's garden, on the lapel of a jacket, embroidered on dresses or distilled in perfumes, the lily-of-the-valley is a Dior flower bar none.
Superstitious to the last, the couturier used to have sprigs of it sewn into the linings of his dresses for luck on the day of a show. In incarnations couture, printed, embroidered or woven, it was an all-seasons flower, giving its name to certain looks and was the central theme of the spring-summer 1954 collection. Muguet de maiwas a lingerie ensemble from 1949 and, from organdy evening dresses to sable wrap jackets, many looks, both winter and summer, were named for the couturier's emblematic bloom. Two years after the Muguet collection of 1954, the flower became a perfume: Diorissimo, with a name that sings like a Dior of Diors, it's very essence even.
Never before had the couturier put so much of himself into a perfume - right down to the design of the bottle and the bottle-top - like a sculpted bouquet of rose and jasmine, nodding to the motif of certain bronze candelabras or certain door moldings at the Château de Versailles. Unlike other flowers, lily-of-the-valley's scent can't be naturally extracted, it has to be reconstructed. For Diorissimo, that means creating a magic potion that includes rose, jasmine, range blossom and ylang-ylang. Fresh and intoxicating, the effect was revolutionary, stepping over the powdery and vanilla accords that made up the perfumes of the period. Diorissimo has the brazen whimsy of a young girl and the assurance of a couture woman. It's an ode to a flower, and a story that we in turn offer to you this May 1st, to bring you good luck all year long.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Source/Photo Credits: Dior
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