Museumgoers got their fill of vintage fashion this year, as Christian Dior celebrated its 70th anniversary with a series of retrospectives across the world, and Yves Saint Laurent opened two museums, in Paris and Marrakech.
More than 585,000 people have seen “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris since the blockbuster show opened on July 5.
Billed as the largest fashion exhibition ever hosted at the museum, it was inaugurated in the presence of French First Lady Brigitte Macron and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault, alongside brand ambassadors like Jennifer Lawrence and Robert Pattinson.
“It shows that Christian Dior continues to fascinate a growing public, and it’s also proof that it’s possible to stage ever more sophisticated fashion exhibitions that act not just as a showcase for big brands or houses but that really place their designs and founder within the context of the history of art and fashion,” said Olivier Gabet, museum director at Les Arts Décoratifs.
The brand was also the subject of exhibitions in Australia and Canada. “The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture” ran at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne from Aug. 27 to Nov. 7.
There’s still time to catch “Christian Dior,” an exhibition focused on 10 years of the couturier’s designs, from 1947 to his untimely death in 1957, at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto until March 18.
Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent’s former partner, died in September, just weeks before the inauguration of the two museums, which he considered the culmination of his lifelong efforts to promote the talent of the couturier whose existence was intertwined with his own.
The project grew out of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, which since 2004 has been staging exhibitions to showcase pieces from its archive of 5,000 items of clothing, 15,000 accessories and tens of thousands of sketches.
“In 2002, when Yves Saint Laurent decided to retire, I decided to transform memories into projects,” Bergé said in his last public appearance in June.
The Paris museum, which opened its doors to the public on Oct. 3, is located at 5 Avenue Marceau, formerly home to Saint Laurent’s couture house and now the headquarters of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent. Visitors have access to the couturier’s design studio for the first time.
Princess Lalla Salma, the spouse of Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, in October cut the ribbon on the Marrakech museum, located next to the Jardin Majorelle, marking the climax of a lifelong love affair between Saint Laurent and the country that inspired his most brilliant collections.