Certain fashion exhibitions go beyond the boundaries of just showing beautiful clothes to becoming a cultural phenomenon – attracting even people not necessarily interested in fashion.

Christian Dior, Couturier du Reve

Legendary French fashion designer Christian Dior set haute couture in motion following WWII with cinched-in waists and gorgeous skirts

Christian Dior, Couturier du Reve

A few years ago, the Alexander McQueen retrospective in New York and London was one such exhibit. Now, the 2017 exhibition “Christian Dior, Couturier du Reve” at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs (next door to the Louvre) is having the same effect.

Couturier du reve means “designer of dreams” or “dream couturier” in English.

Christian Dior, Couturier du Reve

The exhibition features more than 300 haute couture Dior gowns, bags, shoes, hats, jewelry and objets d’art

Father of the “the new look”

One of the greatest couturiers of the 20th century, Christian Dior had a profound effect on the way women dressed in the post war years after WWII.

Dior grew up in an upper class French family in the early 1900’s and at an early age became passionate about art, design and antiques. To further his love of art, he opened a gallery in Paris with the backing of his father. When the gallery failed a few years later, Dior studied fashion design and perfected his craft with two top designers Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong.

This is the first dress Dior designed

In 1947, Dior struck out on his own and showed his first collection. It was a revelation which changed the course of fashion for years to come. The press adored the collection; Carmel Snow, editor of Harper’s Bazaar magazine, called it “The New Look” as Dior showed women how to dress in a whole new way. Wasp-like waists, full skirts and soft shoulders – this was Dior’s signature new fashion statement for dresses and skirt-and-jacket-ensembles.

Christian Dior, Couturier du Reve marks the 70th anniversary of the famous fashion house

In the following years, the house of Dior became a fashion powerhouse incorporating shoes, perfume, makeup, jewelry and accessories, accounting for 5% of the GDP of France.

“Christian Dior, Couturier du Reve” shows over 300 designs plus drawings, photographs, artifacts and personal effects of Christian Dior.

It’s a must-see show – even worth planning a special trip to Paris to attend.

What’s appealing to the over-50 luxury traveler?

  • Perhaps you’re familiar with the Dior brand? You may have worn or bought Dior clothes? Then you’ll really love this show.
  • Mature travelers will appreciate the vintage outfits and styles they wore when younger.

Take note

  • The exhibition is on three levels with stairs and elevator access.
  • It’s best to book tickets ahead of time, as there are long lines.
  • The museum is open late on Thursday night, so going at 5 or 6 pm is an optimum time; day crowds have gone by then and the evening crowds come after 6 pm.


  • The exhibit runs until January 7, 2018

Be sure to get the whole scoop on the Christian Dior, Couturier du Reve exhibition on I Prefer Paris!

Christian Dior, Couturier du Reve                                              

*Lead photo: Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs. All other photo credits: Richard Nahem

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Christian Dior, Couturier du Reve