Today I had the pleasure of seeing the sublime (soo-bleem) Dior exhibit at the musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The retrospective marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of one of the most influential couture houses of the 20th century and it will continue until January 7, 2018. It opened on July 5 and two weeks later, the lines to get in are still crazy long. If you are going to check it out, it would be well worth your while to buy a billet coupe file on-line that allows you express access for the same fee as buying your ticket at the door. That probably saved me at least a one hour wait to get in. There were so many people inside that I wished that I had been able to come just as the exhibit opened to avoid some of the crush.
The exhibit spreads across both halves of the museum and it covers two floors, so once you do get in, you will have plenty to enjoy. It starts with photos and documents chronicling the couturier’s childhood, then moves to the avant-garde art gallery that he ran with a partner that did not achieve lasting commercial success, before moving to his explosion into the world of couture.
The “chromatic” rooms displayed dresses, hats, purses and other accessories in a wave of color, starting with white and then moving through all of the colors of the Dior rainbow before terminating with the color that he felt was the most elegant of all – black. I was most fascinated with the miniature dresses made by the Dior seamstresses from the original designs.
Another room featured Versailles inspired dresses, designed by John Galliano, one of the successors of Christian Dior, who died after only ten years at the helm of his couture house.
Then there was a room whose ceiling was entirely covered with paper leaves and flowers that cascaded all around flower-inspired dresses, celebrating Dior’s great affinity for flowers.
In the second half of the exhibit, there were soaring displays of gowns stacked ever higher all the way to the vaulted ceiling. This was the best fashion exhibit I have seen since the 2010 Yves Saint Laurent exhibit at the Petit Palais. I do hope you’ll be able to visit it for yourself.