Inside Dior’s 70th Anniversary at Couture Fashion Week

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The Christian Dior exhibit at Les Arts Décoratifs is from July 5 to January 7.
The Christian Dior exhibit at Les Arts Décoratifs is from July 5 to January 7.

“I’ve been to Paris Fashion Week with my wife before, but it pales in comparison to this,” Dean Sioukas told Haute Living yesterday afternoon at the Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris. “This, this is like the fashion world’s Super Bowl.” Sioukas is referring to Couture Week, the twice yearly event where celebrities, jet-setting fashion bloggers, and wildly wealthy influential  women come to Paris to see the most deluxe high-end clothing collections in the world. Chrisa Pappas, Sioukas’ wife was invited to Couture Week as special guests of the French fashion house, Christian Dior.

Chrisa Pappas and Dean Sioukas pose for a selfie at Versaille
Chrisa Pappas and Dean Sioukas pose for a selfie at Versaille

The event marked a special occasion for Dior: the brand is celebrating its 70th anniversary and an incredible retrospective exhibit at the Les Arts Décoratifs. Pappas and Sioukas were treated to a whirlwind of Dior-themed happenings with the culmination the couture show, which was followed by the opening of the exhibit, and a Parisian garden fete outside of the museum. On the agenda: a private tour of Versailles with attention paid to the details that inspired Dior’s most recent collection of jewelry. A helicopter ride to Champagne complete with a tasting and lunch (catered by a three Michelin star restaurant) at Dom Perignon. A viewing of the latest Dior haute jewelry collection at the House of Couture. Throw in cocktail parties, fittings, and a rooftop finale dinner and it’s a whirlwind five days. “Everything has been really first class,” Pappas says of the exclusive experience.

A look from the couture show
A look from the couture show

Designer Maria Grazia Chiuri presented her second couture collection for the house at the Hotel des Invalides. It was a sophisticated collection with a neutral color palette, dresses with fitted bodices and A-line skirts, and sumptuous fabrics. “The thing I noticed the most was the fit of the clothes. The detail of the fit was what was really important,” Pappas says describing the show. “I was expecting everything to be jeweled and super unwearable because it’s couture—a little more avant grade. But it was wearable. They had these evening coats that were beautifully embroidered but at the same time they were very wearable. I was really impressed by that.” True to Chiuri’s style for previous shows at the house, this one was ultra-feminine. It’s a couture that is friendly for everyone. It breaks with what couture is known for.

Bella Hadid at the anniversary party
Bella Hadid at the anniversary party

After the show, the couple had little time for a quick lunch and outfit change before heading to the 70th anniversary party at Les Arts Décoratifs. Pappas and Zarate mingled with the likes of Bella Hadid, Bianca Jagger, Jennifer Lawrence, Karlie Kloss, Natalie Portman, and Felicity Jones. The retrospective is a stunning fashion fete—the best museum collection of clothing we’ve ever seen. It starts with a look at the couture dresses through the years detailing the work of all the people who have designed for the house, from Christian Dior to Yves Saint Laurent to John Galliano to Raf Simmons. There are editorial images of celebrities like Audrey Hepburn wearing Dior, designer sketches, mood boards, and fabric samples. Afterward it moves into a series of rooms, each one more stunning than the last. An all-white room is filled with dress forms that are stacked, elegantly, one on top of the other up to the ceiling. Another room has dark black walls and dresses in red, grey, and black, lined up on one side with videos of runway shows playing on the other side. The final room is a visual spectacle—a breathtaking collection of gorgeous gold, white, bejeweled, and sequined gowns. A light show with constellations and clouds moving on the ceiling is as captivating as the glorious dresses. An organ plays dreamy tunes and the museum goer feels as if they have been transported into a magical new world.

The exhibit
The exhibit

Outside in the gardens was the party. There were topiaries cut into the shape of Dior’s iconic New Look, patio furniture on squares of fresh grass, and pretty pink roses everywhere. The champagne flowed as the glittering crowd of chic Frenchies mingled with Mexican socialites, Moroccan billionaires, and enchanted Americans.

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