You are invited to Monsieur Christian Dior’s ball

Have you ever pictured yourself attending a lavish ball with women dressed in the most elaborate gowns? I was brought one step closer to this dream in the childhood home of Christian Dior. More than 50 haute-couture ball gowns are on show there until the end of the month, with designs by Christian Dior from the 1950s and by John Galliano, the designer of the house since 1997. Following the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective, here are a few pictures I took on the sly once again to show you these luxurious party dresses. Which one would you wear to the ball?

Christian Dior had a thing for balls. Born in 1905, he was nostalgic of the excesses of the Belle Époque and developed a love for disguises and parties from a young age at the carnivals of his hometown of Granville in Normandy. The first piece of the exhibition is a replica of the “King of Animals”, the costume he wore at the 1949 Kings and Queens ball. Quite suiting for a party animal, right?

Christian Dior’s first collection in 1947 revolutionized fashion and defined his style as a designer. Right after World War II, women wore short skirts with padded-shoulder jackets. It was out of the question during these times of hardships to think about pleasures and luxuries. Yet, Dior’s New Look was all about the latter. His collection stood out by its refined beauty, the endless lengths of fine fabrics, its exquisite embroideries and floral details. Fashion was back to its old tricks: making women dream and feel the desire to look beautiful. The New Look was also the birth of a new silhouette reminiscent of a flower: round shoulders, a wasp waist and a full skirt.

50 years after the New Look collection, John Galliano became the designer of the Christian Dior house and has proven to be more than worthy of his position. His haute-couture collections are impressive by his talent and the complexity of his designs, his love for lavish shows and dramatization.

My favorite piece from the exhibition is this ivory gown from the 1997 couture collection that was worn by Lauren Bush at the 2000 Bal des Débutantes.

The star of the exhibition however is the couture dress actress Eva Green wears in the ad for the Dior fragrance Midnight Poison. This gown is a real work of art in itself with its complex structure and embroideries.

In my next post, I will show you more of the exhibition and the childhood home of Christian Dior. In the meantime, you can see official pictures of the exhibition right here!

Vous êtes-vous déjà imaginé danser dans un somptueux bal, entouré de femmes à l’élégance presque démesurée ? Dior vous y invite au sein de la maison d’enfance du créateur à Granville. Plus de 50 robes haute-couture y sont exposées jusqu’à la fin du mois, dont des créations de Christian Dior des années 1950 et de John Galliano, directeur de la création depuis 1997. Suite à la rétrospective de l’œuvre d’Yves Saint Laurent, un autre grand génie de la couture qui a travaillé chez Christian Dior, voici quelques photos prises en cachette pour partager avec vous ces habits de fête. Quelle robe porteriez-vous au bal ?

Christian Dior était un grand amateur de bals. Né en 1905, il a gardé la nostalgie de la Belle Epoque et le goût des déguisements et des fêtes développé pendant son enfance lors des carnavals de Granville en Normandie. L’exposition démarre sur cette réplique du costume du « Roi des Animaux » qu’il a porté lors du Bal des Rois et des Reines en 1949.

Pour comprendre l’essence du style Christian Dior, il faut connaître la révolution du New Look. Nous sommes au lendemain de la Seconde guerre mondiale. Les femmes portent des jupes courtes et des vestes aux épaules carrées. Il est mal vu dans ces temps de pénuries de penser aux plaisirs et au superflu… que Christian Dior va pourtant remettre au goût du jour en 1947. Ses modèles sont d’une beauté recherchée, exigent des longueurs de tissu démesurées et ravissent par leurs broderies et leurs ornementations florales. La mode reprend son plus beau rôle : elle fait rêver. Pour Christian Dior, c’est « le retour à l’art de plaire » et l’épanouissement de la femme fleur : épaules douces, taille fine, hanches arrondies.

50 ans plus tard, John Galliano s’impose comme le digne héritier de Christian Dior par son génie en matière de couture, son goût de la théâtralisation et le faste de ses défilés de mode.

Mon modèle préféré? Cette robe ivoire de la collection haute-couture 1997 portée par Lauren Bush au Bal des Débutantes en 2000.

La star et le bouquet final de l’exposition: la robe portée par Eva Green dans la publicité pour le parfum Midnight Poison lancé par Dior en 2007. Etonnant par sa structure complexe et  son travail de broderies, ce modèle est un vrai tour de force haute-couture !

Dans mon prochain billet, je vous parlerai de la suite de l’exposition et de la maison d’enfance de Christian Dior à Granville. En attendant, vous pouvez voir des photos officielles des robes du Grand Bal de Dior ici. A bientôt !

17 Comments

Filed under Fashion exhibitions

17 responses to “You are invited to Monsieur Christian Dior’s ball

  1. Ces robes sont fabuleuses, magiques, féeriques, un vrai rêve de princesse (dans mes rêves) ;)
    Je ne porterais jamais de telles robes, d’ailleurs, je ne sais pas si j’aurais voulu si j’en avais eu l’occasion.

  2. Beautiful! Very interesting – thank you!

  3. Wonderful dresses, thank you so much for sharing these pictures! You made me dream :)

  4. Madelene

    These dresses are dreamy works of art. I wish I could go to a ball wearing vintage Lanvin or YSL (I’ve never been all that into C.D.)!

    • Oh I agree with you on Yves Saint Laurent. At the retrospective of his work in Paris there was a room entirely dedicated to the ball gowns he designed. They are much more minimal than CD, but so elegant and timeless!

  5. Hi ritournelle. My wife and I visited Floriade 2010 in Canberra, Australia. There was a display that tertiary students created theater costumes. They were magnificent. Monsieur Christian Dior’s ball reminded me of those costumes. Great blog, beautiful pictures.

  6. Ginny

    I love these ball gowns, especially the midnight poison gown. Do you perhaps have a clear picture of the front of the gown? Been looking for photo’s everywhere! THX!

  7. Brian

    Your photos are jaw-dropping! Thank you SO much!
    My DIOR dream would be traveling to the Pushkin to see my favorite DIOR dress of all time, “Thamar” (S/S 1998). I finally learned it’s name from the Moscow video of the Inspiration Dior presentation. It’s a jewel!
    Thank you again for all this beauty… you are lovely to share it.

    • You’re very welcome. This exhibit was amazing and I wish I could see the current one in Russia too!
      I didn’t find the dress you’re talking about. Do you have a picture?

  8. Pingback: Paris Haute Couture | Ritournelle

  9. Pingback: Visiting the Dior couture salons on avenue Montaigne | Ritournelle

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