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"May"

Design House:
House of Dior (French, founded 1947)
Designer:
Christian Dior (French, Granville 1905–1957 Montecatini)
Date:
spring/summer 1953
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk
Dimensions:
Length at CB (a): 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm) Length at CB (b): 45 1/2 in. (115.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. David Kluger, 1960
Accession Number:
C.I.60.21.1a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 962
Dior reveled in the paradox of the natural and the sophisticated. The most telling example is his frequent self-presentation, not as a man who symbolized the authority of French taste, but rather as a simple gardener, farmer, and mill owner.

In "May," flowering grasses and wild clover are rendered in silk floss on organza. This "simple" patterning of meadow-gone-to-weed is composed of the tiniest French knots and the meticulously measured stitches of the hand embroiderer, suggesting that for Dior, it was not only that beauty resides in the most rustic, but also that the most successful artifice is a beguiling naivété.
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