A Grand Dior Exhibition at the Grand Palais, Paris.

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Make this FREE exhibition a part of your weekend plans in Paris.     Taking place at the Grand Palais, Rotonde Alexandre III entrance, facing the Seine on Avenue Winston Churchill 75008, it is open 11-8 through November 25 only.

This exhibition honors Christian Dior and his vision for women of beauty and elegance, and the design House he created in 1947.   Sole Traveling Mama had no idea that he began his career as an art gallery owner and opened his first gallery in 1928.     He was friends with the likes of Man Ray, Picasso, Dali and Max Ernst, to name just a few.    The beginning of the exhibition features various works by these artists, as well as original documents and photo memorabilia from that era.

It was fascinating for STM to learn that Dior’s first fragrance, Miss Dior,  created in 1947, was done so in honor of his beloved sister, Catherine.     Catherine was a member of the French Resistance, was captured and tortured by the Gestapo but never gave up a single name, and was eventually deported on the last train to Ravensbruck for the duration of the war.     Incredibly, she survived and the perfume was designed to reflect her spirit and essence – wow!!!

Contemporary artists are also featured in the exhibition, giving their take on Dior.    STM particularly liked the huge 3 meter wide bow, designed by Joana Vasconcelos in her Lisbon studio.    Made of LED lights and 1,665 perfume bottles, it glows from red to pink! Slovenian designer Nika Zupang designed her “Room of One’s Own” as a fairytale pavilion dedicated to women.     (STM “needs” that pink bow-backed chair for her apartment!).       The fabulous “shelter skirt” was crafted by Ionna Vautrin and is a creation part couture part design.     Made to look like a giant crinoline, it is constructed from 864 pink gloves, 592 white gloves asnd 504 black gloves – incredible!

The final dress pictured here is actually the first dress to be found in the exhibition.    It is the “Miss Dior Gown” from the Spring/Summer 1949 collection.    Christian Dior was inspired by gardens and used flowers lavishly and intricately in his numerous designs through the years.

What a treat to see so much beauty in one space!   Enjoy!!

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