Oh my Versailles

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m watching fashion television reruns. Jeanne Becker is in Paris for Couture week and is talking to the camera telling her viewers that she is on her way inside for the Dior Couture Runway Show.   Well now, I’m definitely interested to see what is about to happen (John Galliano is my all time fav designer) then she drops this bombshell; the show is happening inside Versailles!

“WHAT!” (I scream in my head)

“Versailles! A freaking Palace! Oh, John” (I sigh)

“You’ve outdone yourself yet again.”

When you see the pics you’ll know exactly what I mean! A venue can enhance and add to the drama of the show. Clearly choosing the right venue/location is key in the show production scheme of things, so as a Creative Director myself I GREATLY appreciate a location or venue that has its own voice.

Now this was no ordinary runway presentation (duh), not only was it happening in the L’Orangerie in the palace, but it was also a celebration of Dior’s 60th year in the fashion industry.  So naturally they pulled out all the stops.  First up of course the venue.

The Venue: The original Chateau was built sometime before 1038 by a French Aristocrat and land owner, and didn’t come into ownership by the Royal family until 1623.  At that time the Chateau was a favourite hunting retreat and weekend getaway for the then King Louis XIII who purchased more land and commenced plans to expand the Chateau.  It wasn’t until the reign of Louis XIV that the palace began to take shape.  By his reign the Chateau had been transformed into a retreat fit for the Royal family, however it had become too small. Louis employed an architect to draft plans to expand the Chateau without tearing down the one that had been built previously.  A compromise was reached and he decided to build the new Chateau around the old one.  A new building went up on all three sides of the old Chateau, the L’Orangerie and Menagerie’s were rebuilt, the ornamental Swiss pool and the Grand Canal were deepened. All of the groves were extended and they increased the number of fountains on the property. 

By 1668 the palace had become the toast of Europe and was the location of choice for the King and Queen when wanting to entertain and impress their guests.  I’m sure that Louis would have approved of this particular show taking place at his beloved palace.

(Source: the world wide web)


Queens Bedroom Versailles

The show:  Light’s, cue music, is everybody in their seats? the general consensus is that John seems to always out do himself each season, so naturally everyone was wondering what he was going to pull out of his hat for such a momentous occasion. We asked and John delivered.  Bringing together the best in the game ,John had almost all of the top supermodels in the world strut their stuff for Dior.  If you’re not sure what a super model is or you live under a rock and don’t know who these ladies are, well check the pics and I’ll tell ya.  Helena Christensen, Naomi Campbell, Shalom Harlow, Giselle Bundchen, do I need to go on?  As it always is when these ladies are on the catwalk – they bring it! Simply put, each of these runway divas did their thing, bringing to life these one of a kind, probably never to be worn again pieces, as they strutted their stuff down the catwalk. 

The arts was John’s inspiration for that season. Each piece representing an artist. He also brought in a flamenco ensemble to enhance the whole experience, appropriately titled “Bal des Artistes”. 


christian-dior21.jpg image by ajbar7

As I watched each piece come down the runway, I literally found myself gasping at the sheer gorgeousness of the clothing.  If there is a master of Haute Couture that master is definitely John Galliano!

(Photos: courtesy of the world wide web)

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