Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 14, 2017

Christian Dior Paris

The main reason for my trip to Paris was to see the Christian Dior exhibition at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. It celebrates 70 years of Christian Dior, showing the work of Christian Dior and the 6 artistic directors who followed him to create fantastic clothes, accessories and perfume for the design house.

Alongside 300 dresses the curators have gathered together  documents, sketches, photographs, hats, jewellery, shoes and perfume bottles, as well as paintings, objets d’art and furniture which have helped to inspire the directors. Christian Dior loved art and gardens and his successors were equally inspired in the same way.

Christian Dior was a success from his very first show in February 1947. His revolutionary New Look was a triumph. Women were tired of the austerity of war and embraced the return to femininity.

He was the first to dress the entire woman from head to toe, dresses, shoes, hats, jewellery and perfume. It was the golden age of fashion photography and Dior surrounded himself with the best photographers. He was aware of the importance of the emerging women’s press and knew how to make an impact.

The exhibition begins with several rooms detailing the history of the man and the design house. Everything here is behind glass, so my photos are not perfect. There are full size dresses, photographs, doll sized creations and accessories.

There was a huge screen with a stunning photo of Princess Margaret and others dressed in Dior. The light changes and the actual dresses are seen behind the screen.

Christian Dior Paris

There is this iconic photography by Richard Avedon and the dress. (Both dresses were tiny with incredibly small waists)

Christian Dior Paris

Here are some of the delightful objects behind the glass.

Christian Dior Paris

Christian Dior Paris

The next section takes the viewer through a showcase of beautiful dresses in elegant settings representing the inspiration.

Christian Dior Paris

Christian Dior Paris

Cutout paper flowers fall from the ceiling in the next section, reflecting the floral theme of the garments.

Christian Dior Paris

This is one of my favourite dresses from the exhibition. It is a white cotton pique dress from the 1950s.

Christian Dior Paris

…and this

Christian Dior Paris

…and this

Christian Dior Paris

These 3 are all by Christian Dior himself.

From here the exhibition continues on the other side of the gallery. The famous New Look leads the viewer up the stairs.

Christian Dior Paris

Here we are led through a history of the creative directors who followed Christian Dior, beginning with Yves Saint Laurent…1957 – 1960.

Christian Dior Paris

He was followed by Marc Bohan who was with the house for almost 30 years…1960 – 1989.

Christian Dior Paris

Christian Dior Paris

Then came Gianfranco Ferre…1989 – 1986, who caused a stir…an Italian leading Dior?

Christian Dior Paris

Christian Dior Paris

John Galliano was next…1996 – 2011.

Christian Dior Paris

Christian Dior Paris

Raff Simons…2012 – 2015.

Christian Dior Paris

The current director is the first woman, Maria Grazia Chiuri who joined the house in 2016.

Christian Dior Paris

One of my favourite rooms is dedicated to the creators of the garments. Here you can see the detail and the work that goes into what sometimes looks like a simple garment.

Christian Dior Paris

Christian Dior Paris

A long walk along a hall lined with more fabulous garments leads to…

Christian Dior Paris

… a room decorated to look like a stunning ballroom.

Christian Dior Paris

The light changed.

Christian Dior Paris

There are dresses worn by movie stars, including Natalie Portman.

Christian Dior Paris

Emma Watson.

Christian Dior Paris

Julieanne Moore.

Christian Dior Paris

And yet another favourite, the dress worn by Elizabeth Taylor when she received her Accademy Award.

Christian Dior Paris

I would have had some more details of stars and dates etc, but a clever boy at the camera shop wiped all my photos. I recorded details of the clothes, designers and dates. I am working from memory here, so please excuse mistakes. Luckily I had uploaded most of the photos to my iPad or they would have all been lost and I would have been quite cross.

Take a look at the woman on the floor on the left of this photo. I think she was a bit overcome. I can understand this. It was hot and very crowded in the museum on both days I visited. It was difficult to take photos and even to breathe on some occasions, but it was worth every stifling moment to see this amazing collection.

Christian Dior Paris

The exhibition is on until January 2018. If you need a reason to visit Paris soon, this is it.

 

 

 

 


Responses

  1. We had to make do with the exhibition T the NGV Melbourne – the Paris one is absolutely amazingly stunning & great photography Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is an amazing exhibition. I wish I could see the Melbourne one too.

      Like

  2. Absolutely stunning

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What gorgeous pieces. Thank you for showing it to us in such great depth! 😀

    Like

  4. My fave was the green and white just after the white pique… What a fabulous exhibition … so very French. Thanks for sharing it with us !! Jxx

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    • I had lots of favourites! I really like the early designs. They are still current.

      Like

  5. What an amazing collection Deb. I’m sure you enjoyed every moment!

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    • It was great, apart from being hot and bothered. I tried to ignore that.

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  6. Crazy gorgeous! Lucky you to have seen the exhibition. Thank you for sharing.

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    • I know. I feel very lucky to have been able to come to Paris. The flight from Pisa was only €100 return.

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  7. Fabulous. This is the best coverage I have seen so far on this exhibition. Thanks for the share. So much of the collection are so familiar.

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    • I recognised many of the garments too. I loved seeing them up close.

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  8. Breathtaking…..

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    • To see some of these beautiful things I have only seen in photos is amazing.

      Like

  9. Stunning photography Thanks for sharing How fantastic to have actually been there and seen this exhibition – it was an amazing experience just viewing your photos

    Like

    • It was wonderful to be there and I will have the photos to help me remember the experience.

      Like

  10. What a fascinating retrospective! That poor woman collapsed on the floor reminds me of how I handle crowds, though. Good for you on getting most of the photos and working from memory!

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  11. Exquisite clothes. I watched the exhibition on a special tv program. Although it is always much better to be there… Lucky girl!

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  12. How stunning well worth the visit to Paris.
    I was fortunate enough to go to a Dior parade in Paris in 1979, a very special moment even though I felt like a fish out of water!

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  13. Debra: Thank you for the beautiful pictures.

    Like

    • I was happy to be there to see all the gorgeous things.

      Like

  14. Friends of mine have seen the one here in Melbourne and loved it. The Paris one looks quite extensive though.

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    • I knew I would miss the one in Melbourne so I was lucky I could get to the Paris exhibition.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Breathtakingly beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing, Debra.

    Like

    • It was great that I could go to Paris to see it.

      Like

  16. Wow!

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  17. Wonderful photos Debra. Thank you – it was almost like being there!

    Like

    • It is a stunning exhibition for anyone with an interest in fashion.

      Like

  18. Agree all seem as wearable as when they were designed. Looking forward to the exhibition in Melbourne and looking back at your photos again to see what we ended up with in Australia compared to the Paris show.

    Like

    • Christian Dior’s designs are as lovely today as they were then.

      Like

  19. What a fantastic event to be able to visit…it is really spectacular. I was amazed at how tiny the waist was on many of the dresses.

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  20. I just loved all your pic Deb . I went to Paris on 16 th and 17th October and saw the Dior exhibition with my daughter. 💕 Donna Krosch

    Like

    • I was there early in October and loved Paris and the exhibition.

      Like

  21. So exquisite! And how tiny are the waists, 🙂

    Like

  22. […] I was back in Europe in September and took a quick trip up to glorious Paris to revisit this wondeful city and see the spectacular Christian Dior exhibition. […]

    Like


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