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What: Christian Dior exhibition “Couturier du Rêve”
Where: Paris, France
As a teenager, I was enthusiastic about “Miss Dior”, a fragrance that Christian Dior launched as the first perfume of Dior in 1947. My godmother gave me the perfume classic for my 16th birthday. My first luxury accessory, which flowery note I still have in my nose today. At the moment the Christian Dior exhibition “Couturier du Rêve”, which not only reminds of the perfume history of Dior, is running in Paris. The exhibition is devoted to the life and work of the haute couture master, whose empire turned 70 years on July 5.
For me it was clear to go to Paris: This show cannot be missed as an art and fashion affine person. I had heard from friends that endless visitors were winding around the northern part of the Louvre, where more than 300 haute couture robes from seven decades were displayed in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs on 3,000 square meters. With my online ticket, I quickly passed the queue, into an exhibition that took me for hours on a spectacular journey through the decades of French luxury.
A retrospective of the history of one of the most important couture houses with personal letters and photos – also unpublished private photographs of Christian Dior, first fashion drawings and designs, campaign pictures and videos, accessories such as bags, shoes, jewelery and the legendary perfume bottles. The exhibition, which is divided into various conceptual spaces on themes such as the “flower dreams”, the “boudoir” or the “great evening gown”, begins with the collection debut of Christian Dior in 1947.
In addition to the partial robes of the great master, who died of a heart attack in 1957 at only 52 in southern France, the show also presents the successors of Dior. In the same year, his former assistant Yves Saint Laurent took over the fashion space that had been successfully established for a decade. He was followed by Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and today’s chief designer Maria Grazia Chiuri. “Couturier du Rêve” is a tribute to one of the greatest fashion creators of all times, the legacy of Christian Dior, which impressively shows how the brand has influenced the fashion industry and the culture for decades. I am impressed. J’adore Dior. BvH
About Christian Dior
Born in Normandy in 1905, Dior, who wanted to become an architect, began as a gallerist in Paris with financial support from his father, an industrialist. Due to the insolvency of his father’s company as a result of the global economic crisis in 1931, Dior first designed hat fashion for the fashion supplement of the newspaper Le Figaro and finally modèces for Parisian haute couture fashion houses. The fashion designer Robert Piguet drew attention to Dior and engaged the talented painter and draftsman in 1938. After the Second World War, Dior received from the wealthy textile manufacturer Marcel Boussac 60 million francs as starting capital for the establishment of the Haute Couture house Christian Dior. In the same year he moved his studio to the elegant Avenue Montaigne in Paris, where the Dior flagship store still is today. The first fashion collection, presented by Dior in February 1947, was a sensation and was celebrated by American journalists as “The New Look”. After the scanty, simple ladies’ wear of the war years, Dior created a narrow waist, figurative tops, wide, opulent skirts of noble materials, combined with elegant wagon-wheel hats and long gloves. Critics criticized the lavish use of scarce resources and a return to antiquated fashion in times of emancipating women, but Dior’s influence was considerable: Quickly his high-priced haute couture designs were copied from the mass market.
With every season Dior presented a new ‘look’, always cheered by the fashion industry and the wealthy customers. The calyx-line was followed by the dome-, lily of the valley-, the pencil-, H-, A- and Y-lines. Dior’s creations contributed significantly to making Paris a fashion capital.
With numerous worldwide licenses – including perfumes – Dior built up an empire within a few years. He was considered reserved, shy, and humble, and felt uncomfortable in public affairs in society. His homosexuality was not addressed in the public at that time. In October 1957 Christian Dior died, presumably due to a heart attack. He was one of the most internationally renowned fashion designers and left a mark that was successfully developed under his successors.
Book your ticket for the exhibition online. This avoids waiting for hours. You need patience anyway, because there is a great deal of excitement in front of the individual exhibition pieces. Therefore also be cautious of pickpockets (living without my beloved cashmere scarf ever since). Plan sufficient time: It took me four hours to look at the exhibition.
Info Christian Dior Exhibition:
The world’s largest Dior exhibition „Couturier du Rêve“ runs until the 7th of January 2018 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.