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Published by Sugar & Cream, Friday 15 March 2024

Images courtesy of Dior

La Galerie Dior, Paris: Feb 14 – May 13, 2024

To mark the launch of The New Look – an Apple TV+ series created by Todd Adam Kesslerthe Galerie Dior is presenting, as from February 14*, a unique exhibition room dedicated to the costumes, conceived according to the Dior archives and the fruit of a close collaboration with the series’ costume designer Karen Serreau; the House having opened the doors of its precious heritage to the film crews.

In a specially devised scenography, visitors will be able to discover a key event featured in the title sequence of the first episode: the legendary Sorbonne Conference, organized in 1955. Christian Dior was the earliest couturier to be invited to speak about his craft at the prestigious Parisian university, where he engaged in a passionate and fascinating dialogue with Jacqueline Capelle de Menou – professor of French civilization – on the essence of fashion and the excellence of couture, at the convergence of tradition, culture and creativity. The meeting, which took place in the Grand Amphithéâtre, was followed by a show in which ten of Monsieur Dior’s creations were unveiled to 1,200 students and privileged spectators (including journalists, photographers and a number of celebrities such as the Academy member André Maurois). This occasion was all the more rare as Dior haute couture unveilings were usually held more confidentially, in the House’s Salons.

Presented by Galleria

Among the silhouettes paraded to music – under the majestic allegorical fresco Le Bois Sacré by Pierre Puvis de Chavannesthe Bar ensemble, signature symbol of the New Look, preceded the A suit of spring-summer 1955, demonstrating the formidable diversity of shapes thought up and reinvented by Christian Dior through the seasons. Thanks to the exceptional authorization of the Chambre syndicale de la couture, eight looks from the autumn-winter 1955 collection that Monsieur Dior had just dreamed up – the emblematic Y line – were revealed to the public as a preview.

In the heart of the Galerie Dior, the excitement and magic of this suspended moment are reborn, where each silhouette unfolds the timeless modernity of the Dior allure. Sketches, fabric samples, period photographs and other treasures preserved by Dior Héritage were passed on to the series’ costume designer and her team, who reproduced Christian Dior’s pieces with infinite precision. A selection of models from the Dior autumn-winter 1955* collection – Soirée de Londres, Soirée chez Maxim’s and Soirée de décembre – replaced some of the looks from this défilé for the specific needs of the series, all virtuoso replicas.

Like a spellbinding mise en abyme, the genesis and evolution of the Maison are told in a mirrored manner: both within the fiction and this outstanding place of memory. A captivating journey through time, retracing the dazzling odyssey of Dior style, including the historic lecture, filmed in part and recorded in its entirety, and celebrating the art of couture, its many facets and challenges.

*this exhibition is in parallel with the exhibition highlighting the ties uniting Dior and women, also presented at the Galerie Dior.

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