Hawthorne & Heaney visit Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Runway through the years #Dior #runway #couture

A post shared by Tasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) on

Every now and then, there is an exhibition that we feel we just have to see, and usually one holds out until it (hopefully) comes to London. However the risk of missing out on ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ at Musee Des Arts Decoratifs was one that was too great and we felt compelled to go. So last month, Natasha made the trip to Paris to see the much hyped display.

The exhibition begins with some history about Christian Dior’s family and his life before setting up the house as an art gallery owner and fashion illustrator. A brief introduction to the facets of the house it followed by the first main gallery. In this room, each section is divided by colour, each cabinate displaying a pallette with a variety of dresses, 12” minatures and accessories.

As an embroiderer, one of the most outstanding aspects of this exhibition was the level of detail you could see in the gowns and the emphasis that was placed on showing off the incredible textures. These were reflected in the papercut flowers and foliage that hung from the ceiling in a few of the rooms which were inspired by the fragrances that make up Dior’s famous perfumes.

Some of the textiles could be descibed as quite tradtional beading, whilst others would be considered to be more experimental, playing with feathers and layering but all were undeniably beautiful.

They also had an in house embroiderer demonstrating some tambour beading onto a panel of one of the gown and chatting with the public about what she was doing. The piece was framed up in a large slate frame, with one end complete and, the other drafted on. The drafts and drawings for the piece were hanging to one side of her with a partically completed gown on display behind her. The finished gown was part of the final gallery to put the whole process into context.

Tambour beading demonstration #Dior #tambour #embroidery

A post shared by Tasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) on

The white gallery was reminiscent of the layout of the Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A museum in London where you were dwarfed by the pieces, however here the emphasis was placed purely on the cut of the garments. Each one is the toile of a gown we had already seen in the body of the exhibition to explain the development of each piece and the alterations process it has been through to get to the final design.

Floor to ceiling toiles #dior #paris #dressmaking

A post shared by Tasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) on

Final last gallery was all the real show stopping gowns, the space itself adds to the gravity of the items on display. They enhanced the experience with moving light displays across the walls which gave the impression of gold snow, unashamedly playing up to the couture fairytale.

Dior: designer of dreams was magical! #paris #fashionexhibition #dior

A post shared by Tasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) on

It would be fair to say this exhibition was excellent, going around it all took at least 2 and a half hours going through it all but one could have stayed much longer. The amount of pieces on display and the generous space that was given to each one made it a very leisurely experience. I really enjoyed the way they played with scale in the lay out, starting off the with minatures gallery, then allowing you to get up close with the real sized pieces and then emmersing you in the white and final galleries.

If you would like to read another perspective on the exhibition, have a read of

‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ is on show at Musee Des Arts Decoratifs in Paris until 7th Jan 2018 so catch it while you have the chance!

Hawthorne & Heaney at Mademoiselle Prive

As with all of Saachi‘s exhibitions, there is plenty to see at the Mademoiselle Prive Exhibition which is currently on show. By the nature of the building, you become completely emersed into the brand once you are in and I was surpised to find that the exhibition was more about the brand itself rather than the products that they create. This said, there is no shortage of things to see with rooms dedicated to the fragrances, jewellery collection, fashion, fabrics, symbols and gardens of the House of Chanel.

As there is so much to include, we would just like to share a few of our highlights from an embroidery perspective. The textures room  is a great one to visit as they have huge swathes of the classic Chanel cloths hanging from the ceiling for you to wander through and brush off. This also links in with the presentation of some of the symbols and ‘lucky charms’ of Chanel such as the interlocking ‘Cs’, Wheat, Pearls and Camellias which once highlighted, you can fail to see everywhere.

IMG_2074

In the upper rooms, they are holding workshops through out the day, if you are lucky enough to get a place on one where they are teaching embroidery, flower making and fragrance combinations. It is here that there were what was the most interesting part from an embrodierers persepctive, the samples from Lesage and Lemarie. The combinations of textures and classic Chanel elements were really lovely.

IMG_2084
IMG_2081 IMG_2078 IMG_2077

There were was also a display of some of the Lemarie Camillias that can be seen dotted through the collections and the tools they use to make them. The antique look to the tools reminds you how distingished this House is, but by the way they make them and continue to use them keeps the final product looking fresh and modern.

IMG_2075IMG_2082 IMG_2080-2

The garments themseleves take somewhat of a back seat in this exhibition, used simply to display the diamonds against in one room and as a stand for the embroidered fabrics in the other. In this room there is plenty of tambour bead work, feather and fabric manipulation to enjoy, inpiration for any budding designer.

IMG_2072 IMG_2068 IMG_2067 IMG_2062

The Mademoiselle Prive Exhibition is only on until 1st November 2015, so don’t miss out on your chance to see it while its in London and pick your own highlights from what is on show.