It rained in Paris on Friday, but who cared? I had got a ticket online to go to the big Dior retrospective exhibition at Musée Des Arts Décoratifs and so I was a happy girl!
Still, after breakfast at the hotel I made my first purchase in Paris: an umbrella! Sad to say I had to leave it at the hotel when I went back home, because I was not allowed to bring it on the plane. But that´s the story of my umbrellas – they are scattered all over the world…
I´ve been told that the whole museum was re-arranged for this exhibition, and it was certainly very generous! Usually you would expect 2-3 rooms, but here it went on and on and kept giving. If I had the opportunity I would have preferred to go 2-3 times to be able to digest every detail, but now I spent a good 3 hours at the exhibition, and I´m sure I missed a lot.
Fashion to me is art. It´s the beautiful craft of professional seamstresses and tailors, the artistic sense of a designer and the obvious mix of colors and fabrics. It´s not art when I get dressed in jeans and t-shirt in the morning, but haute couture is definitely art. And add self-expression and the theatrical side to it, and fashion has it all.
I do prefer when it´s beautiful or pretty, even if I can also appreciate the absurd or the funny side. But the beauty of Dior´s new look from 1947 gets me every time. The sweeping skirts and tight waists are so feminine and pretty. I know I have taken a step back from vintage fashion, but it still speaks to my heart.
The history of Christian Dior is an example of how art and fashion goes together. Christian Dior actually owned an art gallery until 1929, when he had to shut it as a consequence of the big crash, and he then went on to be an illustrator for may years. When he met the textile magnate Marcel Boussac after the war, it was a turning point. He got the means and possibilities to start a luxury fashion house and the first runway collection was on show in 1947.
Just look at the detailing on these two dresses! Isn´t that just wonderful? And the simplicity of the cut and design makes the detailing so much more striking. Simple and perfectly cut with precise detailing, why can´t you find that in normal price ranges?
Lily of the valley was Christian Diors favorite flower and I think this dress is adorable. If I ever got married again I would like a dress just like this. Hand-embroidered detailing and a simple, yet perfect design. When Dior was buried, he died much too young in 1957 and was buried in a coffin decorated with his favorite flower.
Yves Saint-Laurent became his successor at Dior, and part of the exhibition follows his successors – YSL followed by Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and todays Maria Grazia Chiuri. It´s really interesting to see their interpretations of the Dior-brand, and their very different takes on the concept. I think I find Gallianos extravagant style slightly too much for my taste, at the same time time as I really adore Raf Simons simple, modern take on the same classics.
The exhibition is cleverly set up according to different themes, which is another reason I would have preferred to visit it two-three times and take it all in. The beautiful clothes has been immaculately displayed and the themes pick up on colors, history references and even give you an insight into the tremendous amount of work that goes into a haute couture collection.
If you have a chance, and you love fashion, I would definitely suggest you visit! And get your ticket online at Les arts decorations. It will save you precious time that you will want to explore the museum instead!