09 August 2017

Fabulous Exhibition of the Day: Christian Dior, Couturier Du Rêve

The largest exhibition in the history of the house of Christian Dior is currently on show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Christian Dior, Couturier Du Rêve celebrates the maison's 70th anniversary and incorporates designs from all of their past designers, from Dior himself to current creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri.

I've heard only rave reviews about this exhibition, so I was delighted when lovely reader Johanna emailed to say that she'd been to the show and was willing to let me share some of her pictures here with you all. Thank you, Johanna! Let's all take an imaginary trip to Paris, shall we?

The exhibition touches on some of Dior's dedicated royal fans over the years. The ballgown worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday portrait is included. So, too, is the little number above. Recognize this one?

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Diana, Princess of Wales wore this Dior couture dress to the Met Gala in 1996. It was a significant moment for the princess - being a big departure in style for her - and a big moment in the history of the label, because this negligee dress was John Galliano's first couture creation for Christian Dior.

We previously discussed this dress in depth here. It's so interesting to see it on display, though (along with her signature Lady Dior handbag), because the most memorable images from that evening involve Diana concealing most of the dress with her wrap - she didn't seem very confident in this departure of a dress.

And there's waaaaaay more outside of the royal sphere. Diana's dress stands in the center of a group of dresses worn by the stars. The dress on the right with the green belt was worn by Elizabeth Taylor to win her first Oscar.

 Here's another Oscar winner: Jennifer Lawrence's 2013 gown.

This ivory dress covered in designs was worn by Emma Watson.

A pregnant Natalie Portman wore this take on the puffy sleeve trend to the Screen Actors Guild Awards earlier this year.

Even more pretty! The front gown with the tiered skirt is from John Galliano's time at Dior.

A group from Marc Bohan's time at the helm of Dior. Bohan designed Queen Silvia's starkly unadorned wedding gown in 1976 and Princess Caroline's sweet gown for her first wedding in 1978.

A group from Yves Saint Laurent, who designed the wedding gown for Iran's Empress Farah in 1959 while at Dior. The two remained friends and she was a regular client of Dior.

Here's one from Belgian designer Raf Simons, who designed for Queen Mathilde and the Duchess of Cornwall under the Dior label (though, regrettably, nothing quite this stunning).

The "Junon" dress with tiers of sequined embellishment like petals down the skirt, and the "Soirée Fleury" dress with rich floral embroidery. All great gowns should have names, no?

And a bit of Petit Trianon inspiration to finish us out. Ahhhhh. A mid-week dash of fabulous is never a bad idea.

If you can get there, go. Christian Dior, Couturier Du Rêve runs until January 7, 2018.

Photos: All are courtesy of and with thanks to Johanna, except as noted.