The works of couturier Christian Dior have stimulated the fashion industry for decades. In celebration of the House of Dior’s 70th anniversary, Musée des Art Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Art) is displaying the designer in their largest exhibition ever. Over 300 haute couture gowns will be featured, spanning two main spaces of the museum’s first floor. The exhibit named “Cristian Dior: Couture Du Rêve” (Dream Couturier) creatively shows the iconic designs through the many years of fame.
Dior started out his career when he opened his own art gallery in Paris. After the Great Depression, Dior sold his illustrations eventually landing him a job in the fashion industry. The House of Dior was founded in 1947 at a time when women’s fashion was filled with overly-masculine silhouettes. Christian Dior is best known for the “Corolle” and “Fin 8” collections, which are more widely known as the “New Look” due to the revolutionary designs. This collection and more from the other seven creative directors of the brand will be shown alongside corresponding pieces of art.
Each space has different themes to showcase the gowns, handbags, and various accessories created throughout the years. Also being displayed are photographs of designs, sketches, advertisements and documents from different periods of Dior history. The entrance to the space gives a glimpse into the life a Christian Dior and the House itself. Literally, there is a replica of the House’s façade greeting guests before changing rooms. The focal point of the first room is the infamous Bar jacket. The jacket’s tight waist paired with a contrasting knee length skirt complete the suited look that changed the way women dressed. Many of these featured pieces originated in the Dior archives and are making their premiere debut in the world.
Each space coincides with the works of the various creative directors and their respected eras. Curator, Florence Müller, says the collaboration gives viewers the, “roots of creation” for the designs
Some themes showcase inspiration from the Renaissance, Surrealism, and the gardens of Dior’s native Normandy. There is even a room where each piece is categorized by color, creating a chromatic display.
The end of the exhibit is dedicated to the company’s famous looks worn by Princess Grace of Monaco, Princess Diana, Jennifer Lawrence and more. These gowns fill the expansive ballroom that was inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at Chateau de Versaille.
The museum is open through January 2018.