Laetitia Asgarali Dumont | The ‘Musée des arts décoratifs’ in Paris is presenting an unique retrospective covering seven decades of creation by the house of Dior until January. A must-see to discover all the elements that have made the house of Dior a reference of fashion in the world.
The museum unveils more than 300 models of haute couture, from 1947 to the present day, illustrating the evolution of the fashion house in society. A comprehensive exhibition that invites us to travel through the universe of Christian Dior and the famous couturiers who succeeded him : Yves Saint Laurent , Marc Bohan , Gianfranco Ferré , John Galliano, Raf Simons and , most recently Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Christian Dior : Creator of a revolutionary new style
The exhibition begins with the biography of Christian Dior : born in a wealthy Normandy family , he studied political science and dreamed of integrating the Parisian art world. In 1929, he became a gallerist and was a close friend of surrealist artists like Dali or Chagall.
After the financial crisis of 1929, he learned fashion drawing to keep the wolf from the door. Thanks to his talent he founded his own couture house in 1946 named after himself « Dior”, with the backing of a powerful textile manufacturer. His first show had an incredible success. Women everywhere adopted his visionary post-war approach with gowns like « Tailleur Bar » and « 8 dress » which highlight the body of women. It was the beginning of a new generation of outfit : « The New Look » style.
“ In order to satisfy my love of architecture and clear-cut design,
I wanted my dresses to be « constructed “, to be moulded to the contours of the female body, stylizing its curves”
– Christian Dior –
Designers after him followed his inspiration to make fashion like « Poetry and Life ». Many rooms of the exhibition illustrated this by highlighting the contributions of each artistic director : « Trapeze » dresses made by Yves Saint Laurent with the wider cut at the waist and hips marked or Gianfranco Ferré with his stravaganza sets and baroque spirit.
Spirit of creation : know-how and inspirations
The museum reveals the manufacturing processes of haute couture works. Fashion sketches come to life with the pre-creations made in white kraft paper. Then the artistic director selects colors and fabrics to sew by a team of experienced seamstresses. Importance is also given to accessories to emphasize clothing , which are arranged in the exhibition in form of an intense color gradient.
We also discover through many rooms numerous sources of inspirations for designers : natural landscape , travels around the world , paintings and literary works , architecture and many others.
The museum illustrates this aspect through elaborate staging creations. For instance a room with Thousands of paper flowers hand made that covers the ceiling to show us the very important place of flowers and gardens in the history of the fashion house. Everything is done to transport us into a universe of elegance and refinement characteristic of French couture.
“Dior, this nimble genius unique to our ages , whose magical name combines God and Gold”
( like french word ‘dieu’ and ‘or’)
– Jean Cocteau –
The showstopper of the exhibition : the nave of the Museum composes of the most impressive models. Creations are highlighted thanks to the video projections that adorn walls with fashion sketches made by Christian Dior, baroque frescoes recalling the boudoirs of Versailles and even a rain of gold sequins to stress the outfits worn by the biggest stars of the 20th century until the present day.
A magnificent show case of the famous French fashion house that I recommend for all lovers of art & haute couture and for all curious ones who want to discover the world of fashion in all its glory.
Exhibition : « Christian Dior : Couturier du rêve / Designer of Dreams»
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
From July 5, 2017 to January 7, 2018
Website : http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/en/