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October 25, 2017

Go On A Voyage Of Discovery With Dior’s Exhibition In Paris

Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams at Musee des Arts Decoratifs, throws light on the House’s founder and the aesthetic that shaped his empire

A sartorial treat awaits admirers of the House of Dior, fashion historians and buffs at Paris’ Musee des Arts Decoratifs, which is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the House, until January 7, 2018, with Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams, an exhibition that takes viewers on a voyage of discovery. Revealed here is the universe of the founder Christian Dior and the illustrious couturiers that followed him — the daring choice of the very young Yves Saint Laurent, followed by the more rational appointment of Marc Bohan, the flamboyant Gianfranco Ferre, the dramatic fashion punk advocate John Galliano, the minimalist statement of Raf Simons and the last choice of a woman with a feminist vision, Maria Grazia Chiuri. Dior’s creative directors have all drawn on their own sensibilities while staying true to the founder’s original concept to help define the House’s identity through the prism of its relationship with the era.

Spread for the first time ever through the museum’s fashion areas and the nave, an area of 3,000 square metres, the two curators, Florence Muller and Olivier Gabet convey their message through a chronological and themed exhibition. It opens with the story of Christian Dior’s life: his childhood in Granville, the Roaring Twenties when he discovered the avant garde art world and the pleasures of Parisian entertainment, his training as a fashion illustrator and his entry into the world of fashion. With the launch of his New Look Spring/Summer collection in 1947, he took the feminine shape in a totally new direction. The masculine silhouettes of the War Years were replaced by modern femininity and flowing curves — soft shoulders, accentuated busts, nipped-in waists and amplified hips. This gave a major boost to the textile and fashion industry which had been struggling under the Occupation.

Prior to his inroads into fashion, Christian Dior ran an art gallery from 1928 to 1934 in partnership with his friends, first Jacques Bonjean and then Pierre Colle. A series of paintings, sculptures and documents illustrates these years that were to have such a profound effect on his work and the direction of the House. Some of the artists that he collected and counted among his friends included Giacometti, Dali, Calder, Leonor Fini, Max Jacob, Jean Cocteau and Christian Berard. A lover of antiques and objets d’art, an art nouveau collector, a decorator enthralled by the 18th century and a garden enthusiast, he drew on all these sources of inspiration to embellish his private residences and to define the aesthetics of his work. His gowns were full of references to painting and sculpture as well as all that makes up the art of living — wallpapers, fabrics, china and chinoiserie.

Come, walk through the rooms and be enthralled by the 300 gowns, accessories, jewellery, perfume bottles, paintings and sculptures on display and meet a man who loved all things beautiful and who shaped a world of beauty through his couture for generations to come….

Watch the utmost care with which the Armide dress is handled:

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