Dior to Make Ceremonial Uniform for Artist Jean-Michel Othoniel

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OLIVE GROVE: In tune with its fall men’s collection, inspired by ceremonial garb, Dior said on Monday that it was making the uniform for artist Jean-Michel Othoniel’s induction to the prestigious Académie des Beaux-Arts, whose lifetime members are known in France as Immortals.

Best known for his large-scale sculptures made of glass beads, Othoniel will officially take his seat on Oct. 6. He personally drew the olive branches that were embroidered across the jacket and down the legs of his suit, designed by artistic director of men’s collections Kim Jones in the spirit of the original uniform created by artist Jacques-Louis David in 1801.

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A sketch of Dior’s ceremonial uniform for Jean-Michel Othoniel. - Credit: Courtesy of Dior
A sketch of Dior’s ceremonial uniform for Jean-Michel Othoniel. - Credit: Courtesy of Dior

Courtesy of Dior

The olive branch is a symbol of the French institution, whose members include director Jean-Jacques Annaud; painter Jean-Marc Bustamante; photographers Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Dominique Issermann and Sebastião Salgado; choreographer Blanca Li, and architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, among others.

After his induction under the dome of the Institut de France, Othoniel will head to the Petit Palais, which is staging a retrospective of his work titled “The Narcissus Theorem,” scheduled to run from Sept. 28 to Jan. 2, 2022.

There, he will be presented with a ceremonial sword by former French culture minister Jack Lang in the museum’s garden, surrounded by his sculptures, placed on the fountain pools or hanging from trees. Designed by Othoniel with sculptor Johan Creten, the sword features a bronze pommel in the shape of a Borromean knot edged with pearls, and has a blade carved from a single block of obsidian.

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