Dior Joaillerie: The Dictionary of Victoire de Castellane
The starring attraction here is supposed to be the jewelry that has been created under the watchful eye of Victoire de Castellane who has been the sole “mistress” of Dior Joaillerie since its inception 20 years ago.
The press release reads that this is an homage to the designer and not to the brand, and nothing could be more truthful. Separating specific images from descriptive verbiage in books of this genre is something that is detrimental to the reader as well as to the subject matter.
There are several issues that must be taken into account when it comes to what to expect versus what is delivered within the covers of what is a monumental monograph in terms of its content and size. This reader found the first 100 pages, which accounts for the “A to Z” approach of the dictionary of the title, to truly be a bit overdone and not the most beneficial when it came to making its point. The text might be seen as a bit superfluous, pretentious, and in some cases seemingly forced just to be able to use the complete alphabet as the introduction.
Within these 100 opening pages, Ms. Castellane and Monsieur Gabet often refer to the collections she has created, and yet there are no visuals to accompany the verbiage. Then, after you’ve waded through the text you are slammed with over 300 images of the jewels which are presented on a large black page, with very few exceptions.
While the pieces may be extravagantly complex and exquisitely rendered, the reader cannot possibly appreciate the scale of these collections as there is nothing on the page that can be used as a source of size comparison. The tome is grandiose in scale as well as in content, but this reader certainly felt let down after going through over 400 pages and not feeling the least bit of excitement over probably about 90%, of it. Lastly, for some unknown reason, this reader wasn’t quite sure if he was looking at a rendering or an actual photograph of each piece.
It can be easily assumed that the sleeved Dior Joaillerie: The Dictionary of Victoire de Castellane: meant to be the quintessential coffee table book of this genre, but quite honestly this reader was left feeling unimpressed and rather unmoved for the reasons aforementioned.