Dior Celebrates its 70th Anniversary with Epic Paris Exhibition

To celebrate its 70th birthday, Dior is staging its largest ever retrospective exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

The show, titled “Christian Dior, Couturier du Rêve” (meaning “Christian Dior, Dream Couturier”) will feature designs by the founder himself and the six designers who followed him. Filling over 3,000 square meters, with an elaborate set design by interior architect Nathalie Crinière, it is scheduled to launch July 5 (during Paris Couture Week) and continue to exhibit till January 7, 2018.

The piece de resistance of the exhibition will be a ballroom in the 50-foot ceilinged central concourse of the museum, inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at the Château de Versailles, where gowns worn by royals, such as Princess Grace of Monaco and Princess Diana, and others worn by celebrities, including current Dior girls, Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lawrence, will be showcased.

Nathalie Crinière also recreated settings such as an art gallery, a street, a boudoir and a garden to highlight the creative themes that have defined Dior in the past.

Olivier Gabet, museums director at Les Arts Décoratifs curated the exhibition with Florence Müller, who previously worked on the “Esprit Dior” show in Beijing in 2012.

Dior Celebrates its 70th Anniversary with Epic Paris Exhibition

Gabet was reported as having told WWD, “Rarely has there been a fashion exhibition of this kind. It will go down in history.”

The last Parisian retrospective dedicated to Christian Dior, was held at Les Arts Décoratifs in 1987 and primarily zoomed in on 10 years of the couturier’s designs, from 1947 to his untimely death in 1957.

This exhibition also highlights designs by Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri, all who helmed the fashion house at some point, and includes recent pieces such as Chiuri’s dress from her very first couture collection, shown last January.

Fans of Dior can look forward to the minimalist smock dress in grey speckled wool, created by Saint Laurent for Dior’s Spring-Summer 1958 haute couture collection, to the intricately embroidered flaming vermilion kimono inspired by the Ballets Russes, designed by Galliano for the Spring-Summer 1998 couture show, staged at the Paris Opera.

Many never-before-seen items from the Dior Héritage archives will also be on show, while additional pieces will be on loan from institutions including the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent.

Beauty products by Serge Lutens, Tyen and Peter Philips and perfume creations by François Demachy will also be in the limelight and the ultimate behind-the-scenes, showcase with the re-creation of an haute couture atelier replicating the environment in which Dior seamstresses work will be displayed.

In total, more than 300 haute couture gowns designed between 1947 and the present day, alongside atelier toiles and fashion photographs, as well as hundreds of documents, including sketches, illustrations, letters and advertising will be on show.Accessories – bags, shoes, jewellery, hats and perfume bottles will not be left out.

Art buffs will be treated to a selection of paintings, furniture and objets d’art — in view of the fact that Christian Dior ran an art gallery before founding his label. The coutourier also owned a valuable Art Nouveau collection and was an 18th-century interior design enthusiast.

The narrative will take visitors through the story of Christian Dior’s life, and how it informed his designs, with references to paintings, sculpture, china and furnishing fabrics. To enable this, works of art have been loaned from the Louvre museum, the Château de Versailles and the Centre Pompidou, among others.

“All these creative themes, revisited by his successors so that they have become an integral part of the Dior spirit, are revealed one by one: art and photography, a profusion of colours and textures, austere Parisian elegance, references to the neoclassical decorative style, the joys of exoticism, a fascination for floral motifs, and so on,” said Olivier Gabet. tonguechic.com By Editorial Apr 25, 2017.

Opera Bouffe Dress, Couture, AW 1956 by Christian Dior. Image: Les Arts Decoratifs/Nicholas Alan Cope

Junon Dress, AW 1949 Couture by Christian Dior. Image: Les Arts Decoratifs/Nicholas Alan Cope

Palladio dress by Gianfranco Ferré for Christian Dior, Couture Spring-Summer 1992. Image: Les Arts Decoratifs/Nicholas Alan Cope

Shéhérazade kimono by John Galliano for Christian Dior, Couture Spring-Summer 1998. Image: Les Arts Decoratifs/Nicholas Alan Cope