Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve (Paris Exhibition)

vintage fashion photo of woman with hat and champagne from Christian Dior exhibition in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Where to begin? “Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve” was the most spectacular fashion exhibition I’ve ever seen. If you’ll be in Paris between now and January 7, it’s not to be missed. Be sure to get tickets in advance to avoid hours in line. Above, one of the many iconic vintage fashion photos from the exhibit.

The exhibit begins with photos, videos and biographical information on Christian Dior’s life, from childhood to his death. Most of the rest of the exhibit is arranged in a thematic rather than chronological order.

There is so much information provided about each display and piece shown, but I’m going to stick to images and the occasional snippet of context. These are only a small sample of what was included. At times the number of people in the space precluded getting clear photos.

red dress with an aqua belt from Christian Dior exhibition in Paris. More at une femme d'un certain age.

orange pieces from Dior exhibition in Paris. More at une femme d'un certain age.

green fashion items from Christian Dior exhibition in Paris. More at une femme d'un certain age.

yellow fashion items from Christian Dior. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

One very large section of the exhibit featured various pieces, drawings, accessories, and even miniatures of gowns, arranged by color.

vintage fashion photo at Dior exhibition in Paris. More at une femme d'un certain age.

Intermittently throughout the exhibit were slide shows, videos and framed photos of vintage Christian Dior pieces.

Fashion magazine covers featuring Christian Dior fashions. More at une femme d'un certain age.

All of these magazine covers featured Christian Dior fashions. And this was only about half of those  displayed.

vintage fashion photo from Christian Dior exhibition in Paris. More at une femme d'un certain age.

embroidered jacket and 18th century furniture at Christian Dior exhibition. More at une femme d'un certain age.

Before he was a designer, Christian Dior ran an art gallery, featuring both classical and contemporary pieces (e.g. Salvador Dali). He also collected 18th century furniture and art, and many pieces were included among the displays. Both Josephine and I drooled over that pink jacket!

garden inspired gowns from Christian Dior exhibition. More at une femme d'un certain age.

Dior always loved and was inspired by gardens and flowers. The skirt of the iconic “Bar Dress” was said to mimic the calyx of a flower.

Floral embroidered gown from Christian Dior. More at une femme d'un certain age.

This gown was one of the pieces that had also been included in last year’s “Manus x Machina” fashion exhibit at the Met in New York. The embroidery is just stunning.

Christian Dior fragrances and bottle designs. More at une femme d'un certain age.

His love of flowers also extended to fragrances and creating perfumes. “A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.”

Miss Dior fragrance from Christian Dior exhibition in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The “Miss Dior” fragrance was named for his sister, who was a heroine of the French Resistance, and a grower of flowers for the cut flower industry.

display of muslins from Christian Dior exhibition. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Above, a very high room filled with muslins (the first fabric iteration of a design).

The exhibition takes up two entire wings, and includes displays about subsequent designers for the house, from Yves Saint Laurent who took the helm upon Dior’s death, up to the current designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri. Unfortunately that was one of the more congested segments, and very dark. So my photos aren’t up to snuff.

Christian Dior gowns on exhibit in Paris. More at une femme d'un certain age.

The grand finale was this huge ballroom filled with exquisite gowns. It was a multi-media display, with music and changing projections on the walls and ceiling. Just magical!

Dior gowns on exhibition in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

One of my favorite Dior confections, above. I was able to see this gown up close last year in New York, and that beading is out of this world.

Dior gowns on exhibit in Paris. More at une femme d'un certain age.

Beaded gown from the Christian Dior exhibition in Paris. More at une femme d'un certain age.

Detail of beading on Dior gown. More at une femme d'u certain age.

My photos and recap certainly don’t do this exhibition justice. If you love fashion or fashion history, this is a must-see.

Dior Beauty Favorites

Miss Dior le Parfum | Dior Lip Glow Sugar Exfoliator | Dior “Creme Abricot” Nail Cream

 

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32 Comments

  1. November 7, 2017 / 3:54 am

    Good golly! Even looking at these photos on my computer screen feels overwhelming. I can only imagine how you and other visitors to this exhibition were affected. These gowns are True Art. How wonderful that they’ve been preserved so well. Thank you for this abbreviated tour, since I won’t be able to visit the exhibition in person.

  2. Marie Maulorico
    November 7, 2017 / 4:17 am

    Thanks so much for sharing! Your photos are wonderful. Loved the details in each one. You were my eyes in Paris this fall. Merci!

  3. Harriet
    November 7, 2017 / 4:21 am

    What a fabulous exhibit! Thank you for sharing some snipits of it. Have you been watching the PBS series The Collection? I love seeing all the fashion!

  4. Rose
    November 7, 2017 / 4:27 am

    Thank you!

  5. Mary Claire
    November 7, 2017 / 5:02 am

    Exquisite! Thanks for bringing your experience to us!

  6. November 7, 2017 / 5:09 am

    Just exquisite and the art in display itself overwhelming. Thank you for bringing me along.

  7. Charleen Haugen
    November 7, 2017 / 5:19 am

    Thank you for sharing your tour of this fabulous exhibit. Doir was such a talented man. It is overwhelming to think of where the clothing may have been worn and by whom. My first thought was Liz Taylor. I agree, that pink jacket and bejeweled dress were outstanding!

  8. November 7, 2017 / 5:34 am

    I enjoyed this sooooo much!!!! Wonderful, colorful photos!

  9. Sandra
    November 7, 2017 / 6:49 am

    I was fortunate enough to visit this breath-taking exhibit in early September. We were cheek to jowl in most of the rooms, but it seems you were able to get some great close-up shots! I heard many foreign languages being spoken (Chinese, Italian, Russian, Spanish) in addition to French and English, but everyone “spoke” fashion 🙂

  10. risa Wolfson
    November 7, 2017 / 6:51 am

    Beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. November 7, 2017 / 7:45 am

    Looks like a truly sumptuous exhibition. We’ll have one jet-lagged day in Paris, beginning of December, and I think I’ll stick to the plan of keeping the day free for walking, admiring the Christmas windows, people-watching, etc. . . But sorely tempted. . . .

  12. Kathleen Ludgate
    November 7, 2017 / 8:20 am

    How wonderful to see a bit of the exhibit through your eyes! And to think they are still beautiful and wearable today. Each a work of art. We had a much smaller version of this exhibit in Seattle last year.

  13. Judie
    November 7, 2017 / 8:31 am

    WOW! Just beautiful! ❤️

  14. Antoinette Brooke
    November 7, 2017 / 8:45 am

    Wonderful! Thank you so for sharing them with us – I’m spellbound by some of the detail.

  15. November 7, 2017 / 8:53 am

    I was also in Paris for a few days in September and can’t believe I missed this. Thanks sooooo much for sharing. Exquisite and truly magical. Boomerbroadcast.

  16. Kathleen Martin
    November 7, 2017 / 9:15 am

    I saw a spectacular Dior show at the Seattle Art Museum. 3 times! It too was in parts focussed on color, with many gowns in variation of color. BUT it was a completely different show, there are gowns here that were not in that show. His output was incredible. Wish I could see this show too!

  17. Jeanne
    November 7, 2017 / 9:50 am

    Great photos, well chosen, and a wonderful summary of the show. Thank you so much.

  18. Beverly Bryant
    November 7, 2017 / 11:59 am

    I say WOW a lot when I am thoroughly impressed. There is nothing left to say. Thank you for sharing such a great presentation.

  19. November 7, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    Thank you for showing me the exhibition. This way I see a tiny little bit of it. I always get so greedy at exhibitions like this. I want to own a lot. I know,… it is a flaw in my character.
    Greetje

  20. Susan D.
    November 7, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    Beautiful photos of this exhibit. Thank you!

  21. sueinspain
    November 7, 2017 / 1:05 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. I must admit that I am really envious, as I was in Paris in September and had hoped to go to the exhibition, but was unable to fit it in. Now I can see what I missed!

  22. Deborah Williams
    November 7, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    Wonderful to see! Thank you so much for all the great photos!

  23. Pamela
    November 8, 2017 / 4:17 am

    Thank you for this post! Wonderful shots of those divine gowns! Would so love to have seen it. Sadly it opened the day after we flew out of Paris in July! Best wishes, Pamela

  24. Cindy Gagliano
    November 8, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    How long were you there? You must have hated to leave.

    • Susan B
      November 8, 2017 / 3:44 pm

      Hi Cindy, we probably took about 90 minutes to see the entire exhibit. If I’d had enough time, I would have gone back a second time!

  25. Bobbie
    November 8, 2017 / 5:52 pm

    Thank you so much for your report on the exhibition. It looks phenomenal!

  26. Elizabeth Hensley
    November 9, 2017 / 5:45 pm

    Lovely post. Thanks for the beautiful photos and reminder of how many skilled artisans contributed to these exquisite clothes. Sigh!

    • Candy
      November 11, 2017 / 7:32 am

      I totally agree! Without the skilled fingers of those artisans these gowns would remain sketches on a page. They should at least talk about those who spent all those hours hand-beading those amazing gowns — or should I say, works of art.

  27. November 12, 2017 / 7:09 am

    Such a spectacular exhibition – and the final room with the evening gowns actually made me gasp.

  28. Wendy
    November 15, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    I was fortunate enough to visit this wonderful exhibition in October. Truly breathtaking, a wonderful exhibition that was beautifully put together to celebrate Masion Dior, his life, his vision and his beautiful creations. The memories will stay with me forever, unforgettable.

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