Christian Dior blooms on Rue du Rhône

An architectural blossom in the heart of Geneva

Yannick Nardin
Dior | Jonathan Taylor
Summer 2024

The classic buildings of the city’s most elegant street have welcomed an extraordinary addition: the new Dior boutique. White petals form the building’s façade, immaculate by day and illuminated by night, in an homage to the couturier’s passionate love of flowers.

Designed by Pritzker-Prize-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc, the new Dior boutique firmly asserts the Parisian luxury brand’s presence in the city of Geneva. From the outside, this monumental white flower sets the aesthetic tone for the entire Rue de Rhône, one of Geneva’s busiest streets. Behind its immense petals, the boutique’s spaces unfold across several floors, flowering out from a central “stem”: a lightwell of glass that goes from the private rooftop lounge all the way down to the “roots” on the ground floor, which is dedicated to ready-to-wear men’s clothing. All of the couturier’s favourite themes are subtly employed throughout the different levels and private lounges, with an art-forward décor that creates an intimate and refined atmosphere.

The couturier was a fervent lover of flowers, which symbolize natural beauty and timeless sophistication, and have been part of even his earliest collections. His dresses were embroidered with delicate petals, his perfumes inspired by the gardens of his childhood in Normandy. As time passed, every artistic director at Dior has brought their own unique touch to the theme. In the 1960s, Yves Saint Laurent introduced bold floral prints while John Galliano designed exuberant ballgowns adorned with luxurious fabric flowers. Raf Simons took a more minimalistic approach with a focus on abstract patterns. Today, beneath the guidance of Maria Grazia Chiuri, the floral world remains a major source of inspiration for the Maison.

For Christian Dior, white embodied elegance, purity, and sophistication. The fashion designer liked to use it on its own, but also liked to compliment it with other shades or embrace a full contrast with black. In fact, his first major success came in 1938, with an elegant black and white houndstoothsuit. White is also omnipresent in the Corolle collection from 1947, which revolutionized women’s fashion with its flowing, flower-shaped dresses, rounded shoulders, and cinched waists. It was the start of a new era. With a passion for harmonious colours and perfect form, Dior designed his silhouettes – which always fit with a hint of softness – like an architect, and we have no doubt that he would be proud of the new Dior flower in Geneva that wonderfully carries on the legacy of his passion.