Christian Dior Penthouse
In the early 1930s, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw visited the opulent Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Calif. The former home of wealthy American businessman George Hearst, the 51-hectare estate contains a 165-room main building, three cottages and acres of gardens, pools, terraces and walkways. Upon his visit to Hearst Castle, Shaw described it as the place God would have built if he had the money. Shaw died in 1950, but if he were alive today and saw the elegant Christian Dior-designed suite at Hôtel Le Majestic Cannes in the French Riviera, he would have said something very similar.
Located on the sixth floor of the west wing of the hotel, the Christian Dior Suite is the result of an amalgamation between the Lucien Barrière Hotels & Casinos and the prominent Parisian fashion house. The mammoth 4,845-square-foot suite contains two bedrooms and three bathrooms, a wardrobe, private lounge, extensive living room and dining room, and grants guests sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea from its terrace.
Charcoal-moulded panels enclose the suite’s living room area, with a sumptuous grey sofa acting as the focal point of the room. The sofa contains historic Christian Dior pleated-design cushions in a shade of red the fashion designer invented himself back in 1947. An antique bronze coffee table with a gold-plated surface is positioned right in front of the couch with a large grey carpet underneath. Sitting on the couch and looking south toward the terrace, one can see the undulating waves of the sea.
Stone and Hungarian wooden floors begin in the living room and lead to the dining area. A sizable Louis XVI-style table resides in the middle of the room. Ten medallion chairs upholstered in grey and silver fabric surround the table. The three mural paintings hanging in the dining area are handmade by highly specialized craftsman.
Furthermore, the bedrooms are decorated in various shades of grey and are comprised of Pullman armchairs and caned headboards. Similar to the majority of the features in the hotel room, the embroidered bedsheets, Dior wickerwork headboard, frosted glass bathroom doors and spacious silver wooden walk-in closet are all custom designed.
This hotel suite was crafted in the image and style of the aforementioned Christian Dior. Known by many in the fashion industry as “the architect of design,” Dior was an expert at creating shapes and silhouettes. When he was young, Dior did in fact express interest in becoming an architect. However, he gave in to his father’s demands and enrolled at the École des Sciences Politiques to pursue a degree in political science.
Despite this, Dior’s passion for architecture did not dwindle. He would transfer concepts of architecture to his work in fashion. “I wanted to be considered a good craftsman,” he once said. “I wanted my dresses to be constructed like buildings, moulded to the curves of the female form, stylizing its shape.” Dior’s dresses were originally designed for “bustier women.” He attempted to provide women with dresses that would allow them to move freely and comfortably. He also believed in using high-quality materials for his clothing.
This approach was taken during the construction of the Dior Suite at Hôtel Le Majestic Cannes. The room runs parallel with Dior’s vision and ideology. With the eight rooms and silk and velvet décor throughout, the suite meets Dior’s criteria of elegance.
The development of such a complex project requires a knowledgeable and qualified individual. Nathalie Ryan, an accredited interior designer of the Parisian fashion house and owner of Kirei Studio, an interior architecture agency, crafted the suite to emulate the style of 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris, Dior’s original location in the historic fashion district. She has had experience contributing to the visual identity of fashion shops and houses. Ryan also has a keen sense of colour harmony and texture, atmosphere and emotion. Due to her level of expertise and experience working with Dior, Ryan was the obvious choice as her vision and thinking aligned with that of the Dior brand.