Dior exhibition in Paris draws more than 700,000

The Christian Dior, Couturier Du Reve exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris marked the label's 70th anniversary and showcased some 300 of its haute couture dresses.
The Christian Dior, Couturier Du Reve exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris marked the label's 70th anniversary and showcased some 300 of its haute couture dresses.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
The Christian Dior, Couturier Du Reve exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris marked the label's 70th anniversary and showcased some 300 of its haute couture dresses.
The Christian Dior, Couturier Du Reve exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris marked the label's 70th anniversary and showcased some 300 of its haute couture dresses.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PARIS • The average waiting time was four hours, but that did not deter the crowds from coming.

By the time the six-month exhibition in Paris ended, more than 700,000 people had flocked to the event dedicated to French fashion house Christian Dior, its organisers said on Monday.

The show, which ended on Sunday, was the most popular held at the city's Museum of Decorative Arts, with visitors eager to see some of the luxury brand's most iconic designs.

Christian Dior, Couturier Du Reve (roughly translated as Christian Dior, Designer Of Dreams) was organised to mark the label's 70th anniversary.

It told the story of the brand through some 300 of its haute couture dresses, worn by stars from German actress Marlene Dietrich to Barbadian singer Rihanna.

Museum director David Cameo said the turnout was "an absolute record" - the highest for a single show in its 112-year history.

It also attracted a string of Hollywood stars and top models - who were spared the queues - including American actress Jennifer Lawrence, English actor Robert Pattinson and American model Bella Hadid, some of whom are ambassadors for the brand.

But not everyone was happy with the show.

French magazine Marianne lambasted the venerable institution, which is next to the Louvre museum, for selling out.

Writer Agnes Poirier accused it of becoming a "shop window for commercial brands... under the cover of art".

She also criticised its earlier link-up with toymaker Mattel for another hugely popular show on the Barbie doll.

However, Mr Cameo pointed out that the huge attendance had been a financial boon for the museum, helping it to notch up a large surplus that would "help us re-equip and pay for an overhaul of our restoration studios".

A retrospective of American fashion designer Marc Jacobs' work attracted more than 200,000 visitors to the museum in 2012, which was then a record for the publicly funded institution.

It is hoping to follow up its success with Dior with another fashionthemed show in March, tracing enigmatic and mysterious Belgium-born designer Martin Margiela's years at Hermes.

It will be one of two spring exhibitions in the French capital dedicated to the creator, with a retrospective of his work due to open at the Palais Galliera fashion museum, also in March.

Despite breaking records, the Dior show was far from the most popular Paris art show of last year.

That title is held by the Icons Of Modern Art exhibition at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, which drew 1.2 million people.

It featured the cream of a staggering collection of 250 paintings put together by collector Sergei Shchukin before the Bolshevik Revolution, which had never before been seen outside Russia.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2018, with the headline 'Dior exhibition in Paris draws more than 700,000'. Print Edition | Subscribe