As those of you who follow me on Instagram will know I recently was lucky enough to take a trip to Paris to visit the Christian Dior exhibition and as promised here is my blog post revealing all things Dior.
As you first walked into the exhibition you could tell it was going to be a larger than life exhibition full of exciting concept rooms just from the entrance. As a picture speaks a thousand words I was so pleased I was able to snap lots of shots to really allow you dolls to get a feel for the exhibition and the atmosphere portrayed.
The first couple rooms within the exhibition were based on Christian Dior’s childhood and upbringing in France, as well as history of the Dior family. Some of these stories I was already aware of having studied the history of lots of designers within my course. However the pieces of original first fashion artwork done by Dior were just beautiful and great to see. There was also a lot of photography within these rooms as unknown to me Dior first had an artwork and photography gallery in Paris before he became a full-time fashion designer. A replica version of Dior’s gallery, which under strict instructions by his father was not self named, was a real interesting part of the exhibition and an insight into the man Christian Dior was before he became a fashion icon.
The next part of the exhibition was about Dior’s designs that were clearly influenced by his love of artwork. When the House of Dior was first founded in 1947, he was surrounded by his artist friends and art lovers and therefore the memories of his artwork background were translated into his designs with tributes to Picasso, Braque and Rene Graeu.
The next section was probably my favourite concept room in the whole exhibition. The colourama was such an elegant blend of colour and showed some of the best Dior pieces in the fashion house history. This ranged from all types of pieces, dresses, shoes, tops, bottoms, bags down to perfume and make up. I would have to say my favourite colour sections have to be the white which was so beautiful altogether on the black background, as well as the striking red through to the burgundy shades as well.
Of course Dior isn’t just all about clothing and the next section explained how Dior make up creative directors revolutionized the world of beauty trends. Serge Lutens, Peter Philips and Tyen certainly have to be thanked for their work within Dior Make Up.
The next few sections were all about Dior and the inspirations he had when designing these pieces. For example Paris, Cultures around the world and Flowers.
“Paris is Couture. Couture is Paris.”
Christian Dior believed that Paris and the legendary figure of the Parisian woman are sources of endless inspirations as well as the cities architecture being a main source of inspiration on how the garment is constructed. The spirit of Paris and the elegant transitions between day and night are often and best expressed through a Dior cocktail dress which is mainly what Dior designed when taking Paris as his inspiration.
After a voyage to Russia in 1931, Dior continued to travel the world, travelling on to America in 1948, the same year he was presented with the fashion award by Neiman Marcus in Dallas. After discovering he wanted to pioneer into fashion globalization this was when Dior started taking into consideration other countries cultures when designing as well as then opening his fashion houses in New York, London and Caracas, adapting the lines to fit the different markets. This is still taken into consideration today with these tribal looks designed by Raf Simons for Dior in 2013, Marc Bohan in 1968 and John Galliano in 2004.
“After women, flowers are the most divine of creation”
This room was truly beautiful and highlighted all of the designs that Dior and his designers took inspiration from nature to create. The colours in the dresses were just stunning and you could almost tell what flower was thought of when designing the piece. The atmosphere of this room was light, peaceful and relaxing almost as if sitting in a real garden. This was another of my favourite rooms in the exhibition.
Christian Dior felt that a gown without perfume is incomplete therefore no doubt that the first Dior perfume was created in 1947 and titled ‘Miss Dior.’ The perfume was part of the new look collection and was sprayed in the salons on the day the collection launched.
The next part of the exhibition continued onto the other side of the museum which was a representation of his first couture fashion house at 30 Avenue Montaigne. This was a great concept and almost felt like an insight to what it really would have felt like to enter the fashion house way back when. Inside was grand and full with elegant pieces on mannequins which ascended way above us.
Raf Simons showed his first collection as the creative director of Dior in July 2012 which, to no surprise, marked a floral theme, one of Dior’s greatest inspirations. This collection was well received as were many of his collections during his time as creative director, particularly when he updated the iconic ‘Bar suit’ with a trouser version bringing the masculine-feminine style to Dior.
Maria Grazua Chiuri was appointed as the first female creative director for Dior in 2016. She wants the ‘new Dior woman to be desirable, fragile but self-confident with inner strength.’ For her first collection, instead of paying tribute to Dior as a designer himself, as most creative directors tend to on their first collection, she instead to less predictable option by introducing slogans to the Dior Ready to Wear collection particularly “We Should All Be Feminists.” Following this her first Haute Couture collection was nothing more than a modern day fairy tale theme, seen many times before but more of a representation of the House of Dior history of couture.
The paper room as I have called a floor to ceiling bright white setting with hundreds of initial paper designs of garments. This room had a great atmosphere and whilst it translates beautifully onto camera there is nothing like looking up at that huge room of the initial designs and thinking about how this is how every garment begins.
The final room just has to be my favourite. It was a room simply full of iconic Dior couture evening wear from past and present, worn by some of the most famous and beautiful women in history. Some of these include Jennifer Lawrence, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ava Gardiner, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Halle Berry, Grace Kelly and Princess Diana. There was a video playing behind the dresses showing all of the beautiful women wearing the dresses we were seeing in front of us. I sat in this room for a while, truly admiring all of the beautiful dresses, wishing I could wear them and imagining the amazing events these dresses have been to.
This was truly an incredible experience to attend especially because it was in Paris where the House of Dior began. I have been to many fashion exhibitions and museums as I love visiting them and learning more about my favourite designers and their influences however this has to be one of my favourites so far.
Head on over to my Instagram for more images from the exhibition and if you’ve been or are heading to the exhibition or if this post has inspired you to go then please let me know via any of my social media platforms, don’t be a stranger.
Stay Sassy Dolls xox