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Unveiling the Legacy: OMA for “Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss” Exhibition at Roppongi Museum

Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss, Tokyo, JP / OMA

Located within the Roppongi Museum in Tokyo, Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss is an exhibition that delves into the 78-year history and creativity behind the iconic Miss Dior perfume. Launched alongside “The New Look” that propelled the House of Dior in 1946, this exhibition takes visitors on a journey through seven rooms, each unveiling a different aspect of Miss Dior.

Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss, Tokyo, JP / OMA

From archival artifacts to modern products, couture to ready-to-wear, historic originals to playful reproductions, the exhibition showcases the various inspirations and collaborations that have shaped the cultural impact of Miss Dior. Shohei Shigematsu, Partner at OMA, explains that designing a space to capture the essence of a fragrance was a unique challenge, but one that reflects the core identity of the Maison through a multitude of stories.

Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss, Tokyo, JP / OMA

The exhibition aims to offer new perspectives on timeless iconographies and connect different themes, translating significant motifs and inspirations into surreal environments that transport viewers into the enchanting world of Miss Dior. Each environment is carefully crafted to embody the diverse aura of Miss Dior, blending reverent history with youthful vibrancy, and elegant elements with strong shapes using a variety of materials and geometries.

Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss, Tokyo, JP / OMA

“Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss” serves as a preview or sampler of what is to come. It showcases various Miss Dior artifacts, reproductions, and objects in bespoke cases, arranged as a gallery wall. Each case is specifically designed to match the shape of the object it contains, emphasizing their unique forms and highlighting the small scale of certain artifacts. This design choice allows the distinct shapes of these objects to extend beyond their physical size. On the opposite side of the wall, there is an oversized reproduction of the latest Miss Dior perfume bottle, which rotates 360 degrees and can be seen from outside the museum.

Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss, Tokyo, JP / OMA

The section titled “Miss Dior by Eva Jospin” features a classical domed room, inspired by architectural structures like the Villa Giulia in Rome. This room is constructed using intricately embroidered tapestries created by Jospin, a French artist and a long-time friend of the House. In contrast to the whimsically large bottle in the previous room, here, the attention is drawn to a single vitrine placed at the center of the room. This vitrine showcases the intricate and precious special edition of the parfum designed by Jospin.

Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss, Tokyo, JP / OMA

In the section called “Fields of Flowers,” viewers are introduced to the five floral scents of the latest Miss Dior Parfum. Within this room, a single flower is abstracted and enlarged, with drapes of undulating fabric layered to create a curved form reminiscent of petal shapes or the meticulous construction of a couture skirt. The room itself is solid, but five individual niches are carved out of it. Each niche contains a human-scale atomizer in the shape of a flower bud, allowing visitors to experience the immersive landscape of a single floral note ingredient of the parfum.

Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss, Tokyo, JP / OMA

The section titled “Stories of a Miss” takes inspiration from the Miss Dior signature bow, which is typically found adorning the neck of the perfume bottle. In this room, the ribbon of the bow unfurls and stretches across the linear space. The ribbon’s form resembles the amphora shape of the original Miss Dior bottle, creating a continuous path that cuts through cases related to the history of Miss Dior. Double-sided vitrines are used in this section, enabling viewers to see objects from both the front and back. This design choice facilitates new relationships, associations, and narrative frameworks across multiple perspectives.

Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss, Tokyo, JP / OMA

“Miss Dior: The Birth of Ready-to-Wear” showcases the iconic collection introduced in 1967, marking the House of Dior’s debut in the realm of ready-to-wear fashion. The distinctive graphic logo of the line is depicted in various sizes on a pixelated, geometric backdrop in rich, vibrant hues. In contrast to the curved designs of preceding spaces, this particular room adopts a circular and domed shape, transitioning into an orthogonal, rectilinear structure featuring a central arrangement of plinths.

Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss, Tokyo, JP / OMA

“Dior Illustrated” presents a collection of artworks by René Gruau and Mats Gustafson, the original and current illustrators for the House of Dior, respectively. These intricate pieces are reproduced in life-sized prints, many of which are being showcased for the first time, offering viewers an up-close examination of the craftsmanship and intricate details. The prints by each artist are positioned on opposite walls, guiding visitors along a sinuous pathway. Drawing inspiration from the flowing elegance of floor-to-ceiling curtains and drapery found in the studios of both Gruau and Christian Dior, the walls are reimagined as “soft” undulating curtains crafted from fiberglass to achieve a distinct form.

Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss, Tokyo, JP / OMA

“The Miss Dior Dream” invites visitors on a journey through a dynamic landscape featuring key couture pieces from the Miss Dior collection, paired with artistic works and specially crafted perfume bottles. Each garment is presented on a raised platform covered in washi-paper, allowing for a close examination of these unique creations at eye level. The use of metallic walls and floors introduces a contemporary touch, casting subtle reflections of the displays. Enhanced by a ceiling adorned with washi-paper “clouds,” the immersive setting transforms into a dream-like realm blending romance, art, and nature.

Miss Dior: Stories of a Miss, Tokyo, JP / OMA

The exhibit features a boutique where visitors can purchase Miss Dior products, makeup, skincare, and books detailing the history of the house of Dior. Fragrance consultation sessions will also be offered. Dior.com’s “virtual museum boutique” allows individuals to explore a digital version of the exhibit and make purchases online.

In addition, attendees of the physical exhibit will have the opportunity to enjoy a café serving exclusive desserts created by pastry chef Pierre Hermé. Inspired by Miss Dior’s world, these desserts include flowers, scents, and limited-edition macarons.

The inaugural Miss Dior exhibit was held at the Grand Palais in Paris in November 2013, followed by shows in Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, La Colle Noire in the South of France (the late designer’s home), and Seoul.

“Miss Dior, Stories of a Miss” will be on display until July 15.

Images courtesy of Daici Ano and Dior