Philippe Starck reinvents the medallion chair, Christian Dior's "icon"

Philippe Starck reinvents the medallion chair, Christian Dior’s “icon”

Twenty years after launching the best-selling chair on the planet, Louis Ghost, in the Louis XVI style, Philippe Starck is doing it again with another inspired by the one from the same period that sat in the first boutique founded in 1947 in Paris by Christian Dior.

“The chairs are an interesting exercise because it is very difficult despite appearances… slightly easier than going to the Moon but not very far in terms of difficulty”he quipped in an interview with AFP in Milan, on the sidelines of the Furniture Fair.

The result of this work, the chair called Miss Dior, with clean lines, all in aluminum, is available in satin or polished, in several shades, like black chrome, pink copper or gold. In a humorous nod, one of the three models includes a single armrest.

The medallion chair designed by Philippe Starck presented at the Salone del Mobile 2022 in Milan, Italy (Lou Jolibois (Christian Dior))

Imagined by the French carpenter Louis Delanois in 1769, the chair with an oval backrest in the form of a medallion, which has survived the centuries without incident, was reviewed on the occasion of the Furniture Fair in September 2021 at the request of Dior by 17 designers. , including Pierre Yovanovitch and India Mahdavi. It was in medallion chairs upholstered in cane and toile de Jouy that Christian Dior, founder of the haute couture company who died in 1957, installed his guests, in a setting he described as “sober, simple, above all so classic and Parisian”.

To ensure that the Miss Dior chair “can last as long as possible”, Philippe Starck indicates that he used a “extremely solid material, extremely technical, a very ecological and totally recyclable aluminum”. “I undressed the icon, it was long and complicated”, To arrive at “the elegance of the minimum” timeless and durable chair that “can’t go out of style”. “Christian Dior gave me the very important opportunity in my life to almost square the circle, to make the ultimate chair, the icon”he noted.

How can a designer contribute to protecting the environment? Starck’s answer is terse: “Well, by not producing”. “And if afterwards he really has something that is very useful, something that he feels right to do, he must interpret his idea with a minimum of materials and a minimum of energy, and it takes longevity. , but the best thing is really not to do it”.

Will Philippe Starck’s new work compete with the bestseller Louis Ghostthe ultra-modern version of the medallion chair created by himself for the Italian brand Kartell, entirely in transparent plastic?

The medallion chair designed by Philippe Starck presented at Salone del Mobile 2022 in Milan, Italy   (Lou Jolibois (Christian Dior))

“It’s not the same thing at all, it’s not the same price, it’s not the same materials, these chairs are complementary”explains the famous designer, adding that “Dior is still haute couture”. If the chair Louis Ghost is marketed at around 350 euros, it will be necessary to pay between 1,700 and 5,000 euros to acquire a Miss Diordepending on the version.

“I have to satisfy everyone, so it’s really democratic design”, assures the one who has always displayed his ambition to make his multiple creations accessible to as many people as possible.

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