Behind the scenes of a Dior Haute Couture workshop

This year, 96 locations and 57 LVMH Group houses will be exceptionally open to the public in 15 countries around the world. LVMH Special Days offer, in addition to the opportunity to access historic sites, the opportunity to meet those who make luxury today, perpetuating exceptional know-how while developing this world-famous heritage.

Our special day dear Dior

A mythical address at the crossroads of avenue Montaigne and rue François 1er, an entrance through an almost secret door and we are already in the magic of this visit, soon discovering with emotion, nestled in the attic, the famous tailor Atelier Haute Couture. Happiness is also at its peak! We are greeted by Rocco, surrounded by his many talented “first hands” who skillfully shape his canvas pattern, assemble, fix, carefully analyze the structure and fall of his prototype. The miracle is created before our eyes in an almost religious silence broken only by the charming Italian accent of our interlocutor. With enthusiasm and communicative energy, Rocco tells us about his career, which led him to this exceptional profession, explains the ins and outs of the creation of these iconic tailors and offers us the privilege of admiring models in the process of being made. Together, we evoke the House of Dior, its history, its future… a true foray into a dream machine!

© Valeria Boucomont

Can you tell us about the journey that took you to the holy of holies of French Haute Couture?

Rocco Sergio Baldassarro – I was educated in Italy, I won an internship in an Italian fashion house where I started to learn some of this magnificent art and know-how. I became more and more passionate about watching other people work on the mannequins and seeing how amazing things could be achieved with a simple piece of canvas. I loved being able to touch the materials and understand the different drapes, because each fabric has a particular drape, for that you have to investigate, study each time and that’s magnificent!

We are in the historic facilities of the Maison Dior, does that have a special value for you?

Rocco Sergio Baldassarro – Yes, absolutely, it’s the historic building where we started sewing. When I arrived, the workshops were under construction and we were working on other premises. When we came back later, most of the people who had worked here before were very happy to come back because it brings back so many good memories. I discovered the place at that time.

It takes more than a hundred hours to make a Haute Couture piece

How many people work at Maison Dior Couture?

Rocco Sergio Baldassarro – Within the Tailor’s Workshop we are between 27 and 35, it varies according to the collections, and a total of 120 people work to make all the creations. There are the first and second hands, the managers, then the highly rated first hands to the beginner first hands, we have all skill levels. The highly qualified first hand is capable of managing a small team of people on its own, it has a know-how linked to an experience of more than 20 years. It is the goal of all the young people who come here to one day become highly qualified people first hand.

How many hours and seamstresses does the creation of a Haute Couture piece require?

Rocco Sergio Baldassarro – At least more than a hundred hours are needed, but it all depends on the model, the material, the number of people who will have to work on the piece in question. First we study the sketch, we shape the canvas and begin to see what we will have to do and how the work will develop. Then it is decided according to assign one or more people to the realization. If the piece is very complex, if there is embroidery, draping, the intervention of several seamstresses will be required.

What are your favorite materials used to make your costumes?

Rocco Sergio Baldassarro – Wool, cashmere, mohair, silk, but also tweed which we use in particular in the latest collection.

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In which areas do you use external providers?

Rocco Sergio Baldassarro – Almost all the work is done by hand in the workshop to maintain our know-how, but it may happen that we ask external suppliers to slightly modify the appearance of a fabric, to enrich it. We recently called on suppliers to hand-weave certain fabrics that were used to make various Haute Couture pieces.

Do you still make pieces on demand?

Rocco Sergio Baldassarro – Yes, we always have clients who ask us for special sketches, many times to attend private events.

Who is the Maison Dior clientele today?

Rocco Sergio Baldassarro – It is an international clientele, very divided throughout the world, there is no preferential market.

What are the main sources of inspiration for the Maison Dior Couture?

Rocco Sergio Baldassarro – I think I can say that our Artistic Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, is keen to bring modernity to her creations while preserving the heritage of the past and the identity of the House of Dior, in particular through the bar jacket that she reinterprets with each collection. .

Will your workshop be open to the public during these Special Days?

Rocco Sergio Baldassarro – There will be demonstrations of the Haute Couture Tailoring Workshop inside the Gallery, we will share with the public the different facets of our profession and the multiple stages of creation, for example showing the construction of a Basque jacket that is complex and requires many hours. of work, that our visitors do not necessarily imagine!

Les Journées Particulières LVMH, from October 14 to 16, to learn all about this event, visit lesjourneesparticulieres.fr

© LVMH

© LVMH

© LVMH

© Valérie Boucomont / Rocco Sergio Baldassarro explaining how to assemble a Basque jacket

© Valeria Boucomont

© Valeria Boucomont

© Valeria Boucomont

© Valeria Boucomont

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