An Enchanted Garden: The 'Les Jardins de la Couture' Dior Exhibition at Lake Como

An Enchanted Garden: The 'Les Jardins de la Couture' Dior Exhibition at Lake Como


Dior Les Jardins de la Couture Collection

Les Jardins de la Couture Collection // Dior

June 2023 saw the opening of an exquisite exhibition by Dior at one of Italy's most stunning destinations, Lake Como. The 'Les Jardins de la Couture' event was an immersive journey through Dior's iconic relationship with gardens and nature, interwoven into its timeless fashion.

The Inspiration

Before Christian Dior's enthusiasm for fashion and decorative arts blossomed, his affinity for gardens had been established during his youth in Granville, Normandy. This passion further thrived as he became successful, evident in his residences in Milly-la-Forêt and the Chateau de la Colle Noire in Southern France. 'Les Jardins de la Couture' was a tribute to Dior's love affair with gardens and nature, a relationship rooted in the brand's origins. Mr. Dior took inspiration from the intricate beauty of nature, which he then translated into the elegant designs that came to define the House of Dior. As we arrive in 2023, these once cherished gardens have resurfaced as the inspiration for creative director Victoire de Castellane’s most extensive high jewelry collection so far—consisting of approximately 170 items, inclusive of three secret timepieces. The exhibition brought this connection to life, using the mesmerizing landscape of Lake Como as the canvas for the narrative.

The Grand Opening

By the shore of Lake Como, her botanical motifs found an incredible convergence with style this past Saturday evening on June 3rd, enhancing the interplay between haute couture and precious jewels. New Dior CEO, Delphine Arnault, graciously welcomed attendees from the grand steps of Villa Erba, overlooking the lake. Among the esteemed guests were Michelle Yeoh, an Academy Award recipient, and her fellow actresses Elizabeth Debicki, Rosamund Pike, Anais Demoustier, and Aseel Omran. Beatrice Borromeo and Yuma Kim, acting as ambassadresses, were also present, along with a multitude of exclusive clients from across the globe.

The Exhibition

Dior Les Jardins de la Couture Presentation

Les Jardins de la Couture Presentation // Dior

The exhibition elegantly blended haute couture with the resplendent beauty of gardens. Just like the previous year, a catwalk display showcasing 41 distinct styles and a considerable number of the massive 300 designs from past and present collections was once again the highlight. However, this year's event added an innovative element. Instead of the usual subdued pieces in black and nude, what the founder of Dior may have referred to as "dancing dresses" were introduced. These were meticulously designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, the artistic director for Dior's female lines, and featured vibrant Lesage embroideries in collaboration with the Chanakya School of Craft. Contrasting this were simple, sharp white suits, complemented by diamond riviere necklaces and occasionally belts. Each couture piece was a testament to Dior's masterful artistry and his enduring affinity for nature, enhanced by the beautiful flora of Lake Como

Dior Mini Milly Necklace

Dior Mini Milly Necklace // Dior

One of the standout pieces was the Mini Milly necklace, a simple yet symbolic adornment that critics promptly nicknamed "the emoji necklace". It was adorned with a delightful array of gemstones depicting rainbows, clouds, sun, trees, blossoms, and tiny lacquered bees, all set on a base of mother-of-pearl. For Castellane, this piece symbolized a whimsical garden as envisioned through a child's perspective.


Dior Buisson Emerald Necklace

Dior Buisson Suite // Dior

Other noteworthy pieces included the Buisson Couture emerald necklace which was the opening showpiece—a significant work of art crafted in yellow and white gold, embellished with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, tsavorites, and pink sapphires and spinels, all centered around a striking emerald of nearly 17 carats. The center emerald can be detached and adorned separately on a more subdued necklace.

Dior Les Jardins de la Couture Collection

Dior Les Jardins de la Couture Collection // Dior

Sustainability Focus

Aligned with Dior's commitment to sustainability, 'Les Jardins de la Couture' also emphasized the need for an eco-conscious approach in fashion. There were exhibits on Dior's initiatives for reducing environmental impact, highlighting the use of sustainable materials in their designs and the implementation of eco-friendly practices in their supply chain.

A Night to Remember

The Les Jardins de la Couture exhibition at Villa Erba was an unforgettable night of glamour and beauty. Underneath the shimmering stars, by the tranquil banks of Lake Como, the gardens of haute couture blossomed in an extravagant display of art and fashion. As the sun dipped behind the Italian Alps, the villa's grand steps transformed into an enchanting stage, displaying the most exquisite jewelry creations. Noteworthy guests, draped in elegance, admired the precious collections inspired by nature's wonders, including the captivating "emoji" necklace and the show-stopping Buisson Couture emerald necklace. The air was filled with an electric anticipation, further enhanced by the sparkling lights and rich aromas of the lush villa gardens. With each piece presented, one could sense the growing excitement among the attendees, culminating in a frenzy of purchases that saw 80% of the collection sold before Sunday noon. The magnificence of that night, much like the ethereal beauty of the showcased pieces, will forever be etched in the memory of those who attended the Les Jardins de la Couture exhibition.


'Les Jardins de la Couture' was more than a mere exhibition; it was a tribute to Dior's heritage, a testimony to the brand's enduring love for nature, and a beacon of its commitment to sustainability. Held in the breathtaking landscape of Lake Como, the event offered a magical journey through Dior's garden-inspired couture, showcasing the brand's timeless elegance and the beauty of nature in harmony. The exhibition will no doubt remain etched in the memories of attendees as an unforgettable experience where fashion met nature in the most enchanting manner.

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