Culture

La Galerie Dior

Galerie Dior
11bis rue François 1er, 8th arrondissement
Open daily except Tuesdays from 11am-7pm, last entrance at 5:30pm.
Holiday closures: January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th.
M° Franklin D. Roosevelt or Alma Marceau
Tel 01 82 20 22 00

www.galeriedior.com

Opened in Spring 2022, La Galerie Dior is a museum that covers the dazzling history of one of France’s most legendary maisons de couture, from its founding by namesake Christian Dior in 1946 through to the present day, using images and objects, but also room after room of stunning gowns, many never before displayed to the general public.

Entrance to the Galerie Dior
Entrance to the Galerie Dior on Ave François 1er

The Dior museum in Paris, called La Galerie because Christian Dior began his career as an art gallery owner in 1928 — long before he was a couturier — where he exhibited artists such as Max Ernst, Matisse, Miro and Salvador Dali. The 1929 financial crisis soon brought his family’s fortune – and the gallery – to an end, and for years he worked as a fashion illustrator and designer for other fashion houses, before he finally opened his own haute couture house in 1946 “under the eaves” of the now famous 30 Avenue Montaigne hôtel particulier, launching the now iconic “New Look” in 1947.  

The entrance of the Galerie Dior is located around the corner from the flagship store, on the Avenue François Ire. It’s spread out over 2000m² (approx. 21,500ft²) on three levels, with 13 rooms you visit in a specific order (no random wandering around).   The big entrance consists of a spiral staircase diorama with a rainbow of 1874 iconic Dior creations, recreated in 3D-printed miniatures.

The "Diorama" staircase entrance at the Galerie Dior
The “Diorama” staircase

The museum takes you through the relatively short history of Christian Dior – he died suddenly of a heart attack in October 1957, so barely a decade after his first haute couture show – then through the evolution of the Dior brand as it continued under seven other artistic directors, including Yves Saint Laurent (who was originally Dior’s assistant), John Galliano (obviously no mention of his career meltdown and dismissal), and the Italian couturier, Maria Grazia Chiuri, who’s at the helm today.

Dior gowns displayed
Gowns displayed in front of a photo of Dior’s childhood home

It’s theatrical and magical, like a cross between a fashion show and a visit to Disneyland. You can easily see how gardens (especially from his family’s home where he grew up in Granville), art, and even Marie-Antoinette inspired his creations. If you take the time to read the information panels (in French and English), you can go in knowing nothing and feel like an expert on Dior when you leave. Allow at least two hours to enjoy all of the rooms without feeling rushed.

Christian Dior gowns
From flight attendants to brides, Christian Dior has dressed them all…

Each gown displayed in the museum has a description of who designed it and when, but also who wore it and for which event. In addition to the gowns – so many gowns! – you also get to see Dior’s office, a peek (through the glass floor) into the original atelier where the couturiers worked, and a room dedicated to the patterns and the designer’s sketches of the gowns before they were brought to life.

Christian Dior's Office
Christian Dior’s Office

Dior wanted to dress a woman from head to toe, so perfume has always been a big part of the brand, and is represented in La Galerie Dior, with an entire room for J’Adore gowns worn by Charlize Theron in the perfume commercials.

Gold dress from J'Adore perfume ads
Gown from J’Adore ads

At the end there’s a café, only open to the museum visitors, where you can get tea, coffee, pastries, light meals…it’s a very casual place, although the prices are not! A simple coffee is €8, and a glass of wine is €20. For a bit more fashionable people-watching, you can also check out the newly opened restaurant, Monsieur Dior, at 32 Avenue Montaigne (open daily 11;30am-8pm; Sunday until 7pm).

Practical Information

Galerie Dior
11bis rue François 1er, 8th arrondissement
Open daily except Tuesdays from 11am-7pm, last entrance at 5:30pm.
Tickets are €12 (€8 if you’re 10-26 years old); online reservations HIGHLY recommended: https://billetterie.galeriedior.com/

Holiday closures: January 1st, May 1st, and December 25th.
The café is open 11:30am-6:30pm.
There’s a coat check for small items, but suitcases and large bags aren’t allowed.  

There’s also a Galerie Dior Gift shop around the corner at 28 Avenue Montaigne, open daily 10am-8pm (Sundays 11am-7pm), with books and stationery items.


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