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The show, which runs through Sept. 23, explores nine of the house&'s signature codes in the hands of its five designers, from Christian Dior to John Galliano. The event coincides with the English-language release of Dior&'s style bible, the &"Little Dictionary of Fashion," which was originally published in 1954.
The trickle-down effect of Dior&'s codes into other areas such as jewelry and shoes plays as a side note to the exhibition, notably via a display of the house&'s landmark beauty launches. These are mainly housed in cabinets in the winter garden. Highlights include Dior&'s first scent, the urn-shaped Miss Dior flacon from 1947, whose curvy lines evoked Dior&'s New Look silhouette, and the house&'s original raging red lipstick, launched in 1955, that came packaged in a striking glass obelisk-shaped casing.
Also on display is the house&'s defunct Visiora beauty set that was created for makeup professionals of the movie world in 1982.
Dior&'s treasured Granville-inspired hues, pink and gray, open the show on the ground floor, paired with variations on the bow and the houndstooth print, from a Galliano gown adorned with bows to a flamboyant houndstooth coat by Gianfranco Ferré that sports an oversized bow at the neck.
&"First and foremost, we want visitors to remember they&'re entering what was once Dior&'s home," said curator Jean-Luc Dufresne, a distant cousin of the designer, gesturing to an oil painting of the late designer&'s aunt, Alexandra, that hangs in the ground-floor hall, a sparse wood-floored space dotted with antique furniture.
Glass-walled showcases have replaced what were once rooms. In one corner stands a vast, early 20th-century Japanese cabinet filled with Baroque costume jewelry provided by the Opera Garnier.
&"Much of Dior&'s costume jewelry has its roots in dramatic stage jewelry, in particular those pieces by Galliano," said Daniele Fouache, head of jewelry for the Opera Garnier.