Christian Dior: Couturier of Dreams

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Housed under the sky scraping ceilings of the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Christian Dior exhibition marks the 70th anniversary of the house of Dior. Last Summer, Dior opened up their atelier on Avenue Montaigne for a peek behind the scenes, while this year it’s all about celebrating their past and present creations.

The exhibition takes you through the decades at Dior, from the founder himself to the Yves Saint Laurent years, John Galliano’s reign to present Maria Grazia Chiuri’s mark on the label. More than 300 haute couture dresses are staged, dating from present day back to 1947. We don’t want to spoil the exhibition for you which runs until January (plenty of time!) but we do want to share a little preview of what you might expect!

The exhibition is spread across three sections of the museum so leave yourself plenty of time to wander through and truly absorb your surroundings. It begins in a color coordinated way, dresses, shoes, hats and accessories grouped together in color. Behind the glass displays, you’ll move through white, acid yellow, cobalt blue, lush purple, rich red and vivid green, seeing pieces from all eras. Miniature versions of haute couture dresses designed specifically for last years and this years Dior event are interspersed with the real deals, easing you in to the fashion experience.

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Swirling around the corridors, and crossing over to the right side of the museum, the layout is more open. Some gowns are still protected behind glass while others are out on full display. A whole room made up of floor to ceiling shelving, displays the toiles needed to create these unique gowns, showing the creative process in production. Following on, snippets of fashion illustrations adorn the walls while each section is headed with the creative director of the time. Presented in this way, makes it very clear to see how Dior has manifested itself and grown over time. Each new creative director has put their own mark on the collection while still staying true to the Dior look and aesthetics.

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The dark and looming interiors of the second part of the exhibition are suddenly lifted as you enter into what appears to be a fairytale. The walls are bright and gleaming and the ceiling is teaming with paper cut flowers, leaves and rosebuds, each as intricate as the fashion on display. The gowns here reflect the nature of the décor, ranging from short shift dresses to elaborate ensembles complete with ruffle trains and beading.

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The exhibition comes to a crescendo finish as you enter the ball room filled with the most elegant and elaborate ball gowns and jumpsuits. An overhead screen plays a loop of famous celebrities who have worn the pieces on display. Elevated platforms, ceiling high displays and mirrors all induce an air of opulence and sophistication that can only be Dior. It’s easy to get lost in this amazing sea of craftsmanship and style but one that simply must be seen to be believed!

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