European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal Exhibitions

Exhibition Archaeology: ‘Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams’

coutureexhibitionFrench fashion

Rediscovering the exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs

On July 5 2017, the museum of Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris opened a major retrospective on the Maison Christian Dior, celebrating the 70th anniversary from its foundation, staging the dresses that contributed to turn the maison into a myth. The selection implied in the development of an exhibition entails a thought, a choice – and the results of this choice have the power to become symbols.

The Exhibition “Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams” was curated by Florence Muller and Oliveir Gabet showcases 300 Haute Couture creations of the maison Dior, telling the story of the brand through its most iconic creations. It is organized according to themes, in order to point out the influences and other links that have informed the work produced by the designers working for the maison throughout the years. This is why not only dresses, but also objects are part of the selection the curators made, to give the audience also the context that inspired the dresses.
The exhibition not only focuses on Christian Dior, the founder of the maison, who kept his position in the years between 1947 and 1957, when he suddenly died and his young assistant Yves Saint Laurent was appointed his successor. In those ten years, Christian Dior layed out some codes which became the core elements of the language of the maison, and each designer that followed had to get in con versions with. In the exhibition, it is possible to see designs also from Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri, giving the chance to the audience to understand the path each of these designers followed while confronting with the heritage of the maison.

The exhibition is a unique occasion to really understand the work of Christian Dior and appreciate his legacy; it allows to grasp how the identity of the maison adapted to social and cultural changes throughout the years, while always being able to translate the ‘spirit of the times’ into stunning creations, whose sublime manufacture also talks about an attention to craftsmanship and a will to establish a timeless elegance.