Rowena's Trip to Paris

The Christian Dior exhibition 'Couturier du Reve' at the Musee Les Arts Decoratifs, Paris has been much touted as the exhibition of 2017 and it didn't disappoint. Rowena visited over the Christmas holidays and here's what she found.


Christian Dior exhibition Paris


As I boarded the Eurostar I was filled with excitement and fear: I was thrilled to be able to go to Paris on a research and development trip that would also give me immense personal pleasure (love my job!) but having heard the stories I was scared I would queue all day and simply not be admitted to the exhibition that has been so popular and was now in it's final weeks.

It was a close call but at 4pm on a cold, wet, Friday before Christmas I made it through the front doors. I simply never imagined that an exhibition would bring me so much joy, inspiration and insight.



Le Tailleur Bar drawing 1947 Christian Dior



Running Revival Retro is both challenging and rewarding. I dream big, I work hard and I imagine perfection. To see the historical inner working of a key fashion house such as Dior is hugely revealing. Old photos, archive film and details about the designer himself all feed my appetite and ambition.


Christian Dior photograph 1947


Demonstrations against Christian Dior's New Look 1947


The exhibition is huge but I did love the multi media exhibits in the early rooms where a well known black and white photograph by the likes of Richard Avedon's Dovima with Elephants slowly fragments to reveal through glass the actual dress behind it. These layers revealing the different aspects of fashion amongst a room of behind the scenes insights into this couturiers work was fantastic to watch. There were so many interesting parts of the exhibit that had to be experienced in person to understand their impact, however, I took lots of photos so for those who never made it, I hope this gives you a little peak into the exhibition.


Le Théåtre Dior is an expansive collection of miniaturised Dior iconic gowns placed together with jewellery shoes, accessories and hats. It really gives a sense of how the House of Dior formulated whole collections, dressing patrons head to toe creating a meticulous elegance.


theatre de dior les arts decoratifs


theatre Dior exhibition



Beyond the miniatures though there were so many beautiful gowns to behold. Here are my favourite pieces!


1950s Haute Couture Christian Dior




Christian Dior 1953 Haute Couture Tulipe Organza gown embroidered by Rebe




1961 haute couture Dior dress by Mark Bohan





1950s Fashion Vintage Dior


A key part of the exhibition (throughout) is the 1947 New Look, or as we are in Paris Le Tailleur Bar. From early drawings to photography and stories it wasn't until i saw the actual garment that i realised how sculpted and moulded i realised the lower parts of this suit were! What i loved though was looking at the structure and construction, realising the narrowness of each piece at the waist compared to the width at the hip..


Bar Suit exhibited in Paris

When I say the exhibition is huge it's not until you do do the figure of eight and loop back upon yourself that you enter the biggest grandest rooms. I made the mistake of dawdling earlier on thinking I'd reached the penultimate or ultimate stages which cost me dearly at closing time when security began ushering everybody out!


2017 Paris Dior exhibition Les Arts Decoratifs


Dior Bar Jacket 1940s Vintage Design


The final galleries of the exhibition are definiely meant to wow!


Christian Dior Couturier du Reve Paris 2017


Dior retrospective Paris 2017 Les arts decoratifs


Vintage fashion Christian Dior


This was the best vintage fashion exhibit I have ever seen. It was an entire retrospective it's just my interest lies in the haute couture of the 1940s and 1950s so that's largely what I've shown you here. Here is a link to full details of this current exhibition on the museum website.


Before I go I would like to mention the other parts of my experience that made this Paris trip so enjoyable.


Hotel Bachaumont 2nd arrondissement Paris


The hotel i stayed in was utterly delightful in every way. Fantastic art deco features. A top flight cocktail bar. AND the most amazing breakfast that was so good that in some ways it even resembled a still life painting!


art deco hotel Paris


art for Breakfast


Best hotel in Paris Bachaumont


Hotel Bachaumont Thank you for your hospitality! Readers, I thoroughly recommend upgrading your room to get a view of the street.

My favourite Paris hotel. Highly recommended.


Perfect view from my Paris hotel room


Now. you know that whenever in central London the MUST visit is Revival Retro Boutique. Well the shop that I have been avidly following on Instagram and didn't want to miss when visiting Paris was Marilyn Feltz.


Marilyn Feltz boutique Paris


Please go! Support this wonderful little shop and visit all the gorgeous little boutiques in Passage du Grand Cerf en route. My personal favourites were the jewellery at Eric et Lydie and Homewares at La petite Ourse.

Passage du Grand Cerf


Eric et Lydie Paris shopping Passage du Grand Cerf


La Petite Ourse shop Paris Passage du Grand Cerf

I love interesting small independent shops so I had a fantastic day shopping in the 2nd arrondissement before making the short walk to Gare du Nord for the trip home.


Trip to Paris Eurostar at Gare du Nord




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