Christian Dior retrospective to open in Musée des Arts Décoratifs during July couture season

Christian Dior will open a major retrospective in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs this July timed to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the haute couture house. Entitled, Christian Dior, couturier du rêve, the six-month-long exhibition opens on July 7 and will feature designs by six of Dior’s successors, right up to the current occupant Maria Grazia Chiuri.

A Bar jacket - to be worn for cocktails - from Dior's legendary 1947 New Look collection

However, the key star will be Monsieur Dior and his creativity – from sequinned tulle grand gowns to a blushing pink Opera dress in silk faille - underlining his gentle romanticism and expertise in voluminous cutting. Dior launched the revolutionary New Look in 1947 with his debut collection for his own house, stunning the world with his sinuously curved shoulders, nipped waist and flared skirts in huge quantities of tulle. Completely overturning the tight-skirt, austere, masculine mode of the previous war-torn decades. From his youth in the family seaside villa at Granville; to the Années Folles of 1920s Paris to his time as a gallery owner to his late entry into fashion in his thirties, the exhibition follows Dior’s particular path to fashion glory, documented with paintings, sculptures and personal letters - until his sudden death in 1957.
 
His successors: Yves Saint Laurent’s sophistication will be represented by a couture trapeze dress from his spring-summer 1958 collection for house; Gianfranco Ferré’s architectural style by a long georgette dress finished with pilaster shoulders; the fantasy of John Galliano with a grand, embroidered velvet cape inspired by the Ballet Russes; Raf Simons street modernism with a duchess satin cocktail in a print by Sterling Ruby; and Chiuri’s feminism with fringed party frocks done with raffia embroidery.
 
A fall 1956 Opéra bouffe robe for the exhibition Christian Dior, couturier du rêve

The show will also include toiles d’atelier, fashion photography and several hundred documents – ranging from illustrations and sketches to fashion photo reportage and advertising – plus a wide range of accessories – bags, shoes, hats, jewelry and perfume flacons. Curators Florence Müller and Olivier Gabet have designed the retrospective in chronological order, also installing oil paintings, furniture and objets d’art that dialogue with the seven decades of Dior fashion creation. Mingled into the mix are fur designs by Frédéric Castet, hair styling by Serge Lutens, Tyen and Peter Philips and perfumes developed by François Demachy. The retrospective climaxes in the nave of museum, decorated for a ball, featuring gowns worn by Princess Grace, Lady Diana, Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lawrence.
 
Christian Dior, couturier du rêve, opens on July 7 in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Continent’s most prestigious fashion museum, and ends on January 7, 2018.
 
 

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