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Dior Medallion Chair, Whitewaller Miami

Artist-Designed Medallion Chairs by Dior Move from Milan to Miami

Eliza Jordan

29 November 2021

This week at Design Miami/, Dior presents 17 Medallion chairs, reimagined by artists around the globe. Debuting at Salone del Mobile in Milan earlier this year, the reinterpreted chairs were designed by creators of all disciplines—including Sam Baron, Nacho Carbonell, Pierre Charpin, Dimorestudio, Khaled El Mays, Martino Gamper, Constance Guisset, India Mahdavi, nendo, Joy de Rohan Chabot, Linde Freya Tangelder, Atang Tshikare, Seungjin Yang, Ma Yansong, Jinyeong Yeon, Tokujin Yoshioka, and Pierre Yovanovitch—who each put their unique, contemporary spin on the iconic classic.

The special Louis XVI style, which Christian Dior chose to keep at home and seat his guests in for fashion shows, shines with a recognizable oval shape and Fontanges bow. Today, we see those undeniable design cues intact, combined with modern materials, futuristic shapes, and hues that reflect the contemporary spirit of today’s ever-changing world.

Dior Medallion Chair, Whitewaller Miami

Dior Medallion Chair, Limited Edition in collaboration with India Mahdavi, photo by Marion Berrin, courtesy of Dior.

The Iranian-French architect and designer India Mahdavi, whose designs pop with an array of colors and bold stripes, chose to lay out her fabrics and put them together so that each upholstered part of the five chairs has a different pattern. The resulting pieces also feature materials made with a unique Indian embroidery technique practiced mainly in Kashmir, called Ari. “Together they form a cohesive tribe, despite their individuality,” Mahdavi said. “I chose to hybridize the medallion, give it another dimension that would make it edgier, more contemporary. I reupholstered the chair with designs—which I usually develop for my cushion collection—that are crocheted by Indian artisans. This technique gives the design a texture and a depth that takes it elsewhere.”

Dior Medallion Chair, Whitewaller Miami

Dior Medallion Chair, Limited Edition in collaboration with Atang Tshikare, photo by Ayesha Kazim, courtesy of Dior.

The South African multidisciplinary artist Atang Tshikare started by sourcing inspiration from the cosmos and its relation to the beginning of humankind. For his chair, named Dinaledi (meaning “stars” in his home Setswana language), he researched the African spring season as an overarching theme. “When I observed the stars that align with this season in Africa, I realized that the constellation of the stars of the southern hemisphere was spring looking north. And from the northern hemisphere, spring looking south,” he said. Tshikareresearched writing systems of the Bantu people, including pictographs to preserve history, spirituality, and knowledge. His resulting wooden Dinaledi chair features South African cultural materials, including beads and leather, joined by star constellations debossed on vegan tanned leather covers, bronze, and engraved English translations of featured Bantu pictographs.

Dior Medallion Chair, Whitewaller Miami

Dior Medallion Chair, Limited Edition in collaboration with Constance Guisset, photo by Marion Berrin, courtesy of Dior.

Contance Guisset, the French designer, aimed to imagine what a version for a Dior fashion show would be in 2021. In response, she came up with the idea of a folding chair that retains the characteristics of the medallion style, with an elegant spin. “I tried to imagine a version adapted to contemporary life, which is so packed and pressed for time. The object is still recognizable, with the oval of its seat and back. It’s a nomadic Medallion chair for cluttered interiors, that you can even take with you when you leave if you want,” Guisset said.

Dior Medallion Chair, Whitewaller Miami

Dior Medallion Chair, Limited Edition in collaboration with Linde Freya Tangelder, photo by Marion Berrin, courtesy of Dior.

The Dutch furniture, product, and interior designer Linde Freya Tangelder had a different approach to her first collaboration with a fashion house. With her Destroyers/Builders studio, she designed various scale models that also reflected Dior’s universe and her own. At the end, she named it Sage after its gray aluminum-sanded surface. “Creating miniature models was a crucial stage in the process, allowing me to experiment with proportions and compositions to achieve a perfect balance,” said Tangelder. “At each stage of the process, from printing shapes and materials to sketching and reinterpreting, the most important thing was to preserve the Medallion chair’s elegance.”

As global conduits that communicate each artist’s cultural sensibilities—from Japan and Italy to Korea and Lebanon—the pieces reflect the maison’s vision for the future.

SAME AS TODAY

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During Paris Haute Couture Week, Dior presented an enthralling High Jewelry collection designed by Artistic Director Victoire de Castellane.
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Go inside the worlds
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