Ok so it’s no secret that I have a knack for the dramatics especially when it comes to fashion and as we prepare for the trip of a lifetime to France- it was only right that I bring you my review of the latest esoteric exhibition to hit my second favorite city in the world- (next to Paris of course)- Dallas, Texas and that is Dior: From Paris to the World hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art.
Soooo first, let me give a quick little back story before we get into the gag-worthy greatness that was all this gorgeousness of haute-couture happiness. A few months ago- a mentor of mines and legend of the lingerie scene, Megan Summerville mentioned attending the installment of this very exhibition in Denver, Colorado where she re-located. She spoke to how emotive everything about this exhibit was- so much so that I knew it was a MUST SEE. One small problem though- I reside 8,124 miles away from any museum that was hosting a showing and so I knew it would only happen in my dreams. But as the saying goes- “a girl can dream can’t she” and dreams become reality every single day and as I say-
WHERE THERE IS A WILL AND A PLANE TICKET HOME- THERE IS A WAY!
So fast forward to this month when I was home in the great State of Texas, I decided to pay a trip to see my girls in Dallas. While having a much needed meeting of the minds with my extra good gal-pal and fellow “shentrepreneur”- Mel of Mauve Paper Co. (yeah check her out she is HELLA dope) she mentioned that not only had she scored tickets to Elaine Welteroth’s talk (another dope leading lady) at the DMOA with my fashion husband in my head- Brandon Maxwell, but that she caught word of the talk while attending the Dior exhibit.
I GASPED- I mean AUDIBLY GASPED! See told you I had a knack for the dramatics, because this all sounded too good to be true, but it was VERY much true. Was this really happening? Was the exhibit in town at the same time of my 48 hour turnaround trip? Was this God? Was this Oprah? Was this Tom Cruise? Not quite- but it certainly was sweet Baby Jesus sitting on a throne. I totally thought the exhibition would arrive a day after I left Texas but low and behold- it had been in town since May.
So I decided to MAKE the time to get downtown and witness this in all its glory. I mean if you follow me- its no secret my obsession with all things French and especially Parisian style and fashion.
OK OK OK- enough of the drama in words- let’s get into the Wonderful World of Dior through some imagery.
Sidenote– DO NOT take a backpack! I took a cute little mini backpack and they made me carry it in my hands for fear of people knocking over these priceless pieces. However, I respected the fashion and refused to raise a fuss. Also, they do provide you with a booklet that breaks down the exhibit part by part which came in very handy.
When you first walk in, you enter what I call the “Dior En Noir” Collection- a showcase of all these amazingly iconic pieces including the famed “New Look” style that Dior is known for created all in black and placed stunningly against a red backdrop. Oh but it was only the beginning.
You then enter “Dior En Blanc” which were additional pieces all suspended in the air like floating clouds of couture fashion waiting to be worn by angels. Check out the video.
“Dior En Blanc” rested in the center of what I called “Dior Over the Years” as it held curated collections from the creative directors the brand spanning decades including Yves Saint Laurent to Raf Simons and back to Christian Dior himself- showcasing how each of their aesthetics where auspiciously Dior while managing to make their own splash on the brand.
This area highlighted his use of handmade embroidery and showcased some of his as well as other Creative Directors such as Yves Saint Laurent’s early croquis designs.
Check out some the couture pieces from each creative director of Dior below.
Throughout each space, there were video highlights of vintage fashion shows, model fittings and the designer’s process giving you an exclusive first hand look into how the fashion came together.
I found myself staring- mouth wide open in a pure gaze over the gorgeous selections of fabrics for his moodboards and the details of his hand sketches.
Take a closer look at some of my favorite pieces up close and personal.
Every wall was covered with authentic memoriabilia from the man himself and his successors, and every corner was scintillating with something I had never seen before and every designer made a name for themselves in their own way while at Dior
Aren’t these incredibly intricate and visually stunning? Just imagine seeing them in real life.
Another SIDENOTE– is it crazy that I think people should treat museums like libraries and either speak quietly or not at all as to respect the art, the artist and the people who wish to peruse in peace? At this particular exhibit, I could do without the loud conversations and small disinterested children running amuck. I had hoped for it to be a bit more quiet being that it was a Wednesday afternoon. I mean respect the Dior people and if not that at least respect those others who also paid to enjoy the exhibit (ok ok off my soap box now)
But that did not stop my flow and the traffic of the exhibit really was not all too bad. After awhile I tuned everyone else out and it was just me and Monsieur D and amongst his collections the latest by current Creative Director- Maria Grazia Chiuri really stood out with her use of a photgraphic mood board for inspiration against and all red/black and white collection.
Once you left Dior Over the Years you enter what I called the piece de resistance. This is a room elevated on high that really made you feel like you died and went to Dior fashion heaven.
I mean there was piece after piece after piece of collector’s edition type couture- all clearly inspired by cultures and eras of the world.
It went on and on and on leading to a opening wall sconce of dresses worn by Oscar winners to Hollywood starlets like Marilyn Monroe.
I mean even the furs were unreal with shapes of skylines and Eiffel Tower details
Additionally, all the designs were methodically dressed on all black mannequins that showed the intensity of the texture and colors of the garments in an even greater detail.
When you reached the end of this particular room, it also highlighted vintage telegrams and correspondence between Miss Monroe and the Dior design team as well as details about other wealthy women like Mrs. Firestone of Firestone Tires fame who had a known desire to dress both she and her daughter in only custom Dior.
These designs were so detail- oriented and breathtakingly beautiful that I found myself not only inspired but highly emotional, however I didn’t want to be the crazy lady crying at the Christian Dior exhibit so I refrained- well barely.
See what was so moving as a designer was that you immediately recognize the level of hard work and detail that goes into these pieces and when you create, you do so with the hopes that people are moved by what you have made. You hope that they value the effort, energy and passion that you put into your pieces and that they feel just as beautiful inside as they look on the outside. You hope that they experience joy and that your pieces create memories for them in significant moments in their lives. I believe every designer hopes that people envision themselves in their work and are attracted to the vision that a designer has for the pieces that they make.
Many times we feel like misfits in the madness of being creative amongst a world that doesn’t always respect what we do as art and so to be in the presence of a man who made his life’s dream of designing come true and to be able to witness it and see it on display in such a grandeur way was surreal for me. That’s what got me so emotional in hopes that one Devereaux can move another young designer in the same way.
Ok back to the exhibit- I get a little distracted and passionate talking about creativity.
There were articles on display of the Dior logo over the years, appointment books of travel, invitations to exclusive dinners and trunk shows of his latest collections for the Dallas elite.
It was surrounded by pieces definitely outfitted for the demure lady of Dallas that Dior fanced so much.
This room was housed in the center of a photography exhibit to the left that displayed advertising campaigns from over the years with the likes of ladies such as Audrey Hepburn and Naomi Campbell and an amazing technicolor set-up of oversized shadowboxes in shades of pink, green, silver, yellow, red and blue filled with everything from minauderies to miniature mannequins and exquisite accessories.
And then to the right was the “Field of Dreams“- a room filled with floral printed garments that was an fashion girl’s dream.
I mean every piece was perfectly placed to highlight its color and detail from mo-hair to mauve colored frocks, it was extra feminine and fanciful, just as you would expect from a design by Dior.
Lastly- you reached the end of the exhibit, you are right back where you started at “Dior in Noir” and able to take in one final glance of all the famed fabulousness for one last time. I had to just stand there in awe and take in one last breath of how bewildering it all was, how well thought and curated, how creative and how much it told the story of self-made man with a dream.
As I exited, I noticed a small stand of Dior branded goods from journals to sketchpads and even table books, but one thing that caught my eye was the Christian Dior book of classic fashion paper dolls and so I decided to purchase it as a keepsake.
Not only as a reminder of where I started as paper dolls were my very first introduction to fashion as a very young girl, but as a gift to my future daughter, so she can hopefully share in the dream of her mother and we can create together.
This entire impromptu trip to Dallas was full circle and life changing in so many ways because it was the first time I had returned since the launch of DeVeReaux and I’m sure I’ll share that complete journey with you all in the near future. But being able to experience this exhibit in person is something that I will never forget because it represented so much for me in the areas of stepping out on faith, believing in my abilities and what my voice has to offer the world.
Dallas Modern of Art is running this exhibit until September 1, 2019 and then its off to next stop in London.
I hope you all enjoyed this recap of Dior: From Paris to the World- as seen through the eyes of your favorite girl in fashion and if you can catch it while its still in Dallas- do yourself a sure solid and GO SEE IT. Whether fashion is your thing or not it proves to be alluringly eye-catching from beginning to end.
Now I’m off to finish packing with hopes to see some more authentic Christian Dior in Paris and hope you stay tuned for my recap of my hopeful life-changing trip to France!