Balenciaga meets Dior in Paris 

Fresh from the opening of the Dior Exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, let me take you on a fashion spin across Paris.

The Dior Show was all colors as I journeyed through a Haute Couture dream closet.

Never quite knowing if the creations dated from Christian Dior himself in the 1950’s or from one of his prestigious Creative Designers who took over after his death. Seamless continuity of style through time. Pure delight yet there is something about those full skirts that distances them from what I’d love to wear, if I could!

On the other end, Balenciaga at Musée Bourdelle was art of the highest form. Sculpture even, standing tall next to Bourdelle’s own…Timeless perfection of line for countless permutations on what a Little Black Dress can be.

Click both Spark Page links to enter those worlds and let me know which one you prefer in the Comment Box.

For Balenciaga:

For Dior:

Don’t forget to subscribe if you like the blog and share with peopke in need of something beautiful. Thank you!

Christian Dior at Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris until January 7, 2018.

Balenciaga at Musée Bourdelle in Paris is showing until July 16, 2017.


© 2017 Ingrid Westlake

All pictures by Ingrid Westlake, unless otherwise stated.





13 thoughts on “Balenciaga meets Dior in Paris 

  1. Chere Ingrid thanks so much for sharing all these amazing designs.
    They are all special unique amazingly beautiful !!
    Very difficult to select either Dior or Balenciaga. They both are so rich in all senses.
    However if I had to chose , I think I’ll go for Dior’s colors !!
    Merci beaucoup !!

    1. Thank you, Becky! So pleased you enjoyed my little photo mises en scène. I know you’re a bit too far to see it in real.
      Dior was an intoxicating exhibition…I need to check exactly how many hundreds of dresses were exhibited. Simply breathtaking!

      1. There is a Balenciaga display at the V and A in London at the moment, too.

        Bit off subject, now, but something to share. I visited the German National Museum in Nuremberg a few weeks ago. It’s a maze of a place and I found myself in a gloomy hall – blinds down and dim lighting. Parts of the museum were closed off and I thought I had wandered in inadvertently. Anyway it was a history of dress and absolutely amazing. I was the only visitor – I think others thought it was shut. There was a mock-up of the “uniform” of a trummerfrau, which has some claim to being the iconic fashion of the 20th century, yes? Also there was an example of “flickenleid” – dresses made from scraps as the war ended. These and other matters are discussed in a book by Irene Guenther, Nazi Chic [much more serious than the title suggests by the way].

        Totally unfashionable myself but fascinated by its meaning. Am I right in thinking that Paris designers went radical chic in the late 60s and adapted Cultural Revolution garb? I live in Manchester UK where there are many thousand students from China – this summer the girls/women are wearing loose black, trousers. I like that they have their own styles.

      2. Hi Gerard, thank you for taking the time to share such interesting comments. It got me thinking and digging around which I know you love doing as well.
        I had read about Balenciaga st the V&A but knew I could not see it. It seems a perfect companion to the one I saw though. Balenciaga in colors…I would love to hear what you thought about it.
        The Nazi Chic book must be a fascinating read, I just need to find the time but you’ve definitely piqued my interest as it would be another angle to complement some other stuff I have been reading about. You never fail to add titles to my list, thank you for that 😉
        On Radical Chic, I actually think it was around even before the 60’s. I think Schiaparelli started it all as she was criticized for some of her designs judged “Soviet-friendly”. Culottes and jumpsuits made it to the fashion canon thanks to Schiaparelli but this dates from the 1920’s and 30’s as she processed and creatively digested various art movements she was in direct contact with (Futurism bringing aggressivity, Cubism bringing fragmentation, Surrealism..).
        As I was reading around thanks to your comment, I came across an old exhibition at the Costume Institute at the MET, “Impossible Conversations -Schiaparelli and Prada”. That’s what we should look into if it was still on…Prada has taken over Radical Chic in fashion : I loved reading that she joined the Communist Party but / and was wearing Saint-Laurent to distribute leaflets 😂
        There is a great article in The New Yorker by Judith Thurman. You’d enjoy it!

  2. I agree with Becky, it was a tough choice for me but in end Diors colors and integration of art pulled me over. Fabulous photography and beautiful presentation done by you, and yes I downloaded that app!

    I am thinking you could give a great course on art, photography and application now! If you do, I will be your first student😀

    1. Brenda, your comment made me smile so big! 😍 Thank you! So pleased you enjoyed my mini presentations. A friend introduced me to it and I am so thankful! Will let you know about the course 😂 but play with it and it’s fun!

  3. Ingrid, what a beautiful article… You know me, I am more shirt shorts and knickers but reading you, looking at your elegant pictures, I just want to run to both exhibitions. As for my choice… Colors of Diors, lines of Balenciaga… 😊.

  4. I prefer Black Balenciaga. It seems to me that the details of the clothes are better seen on the black color. The lines are “épurées”. I see more “class” !!

    The presentation of the Dior dresses is wonderful : the objects are perfectly suited to the dresses. Hats, jewelry, bags, perfume bottles, shoes, a dream world !!!

    Balenciaga or Dior, it’s just beautiful! The hight fashion makes us all dream : is not it ??? Your eyes have enjoyed ….

    1. Absolutely, I loved being able to experience both shows, Marie-Annick!
      The Balenciaga black dresses were surprisingly very different and striking, each in their own way where I would have thought that black could have made it all seem too repetitive. Genius!

  5. “Au fond de chaque coeur sommeille un rêve, et le couturier le sait : chaque femme est une princesse.” a déclaré Christian Dior, avec un peu d’emphase peut-être, mais surtout une ambition peu commune d’habiller les femmes de son temps.
    I prefer Dior …it is wonderful, so amazing,so dazzling… As the exhibition goes to January, hope I could go..You influence me …Photos are splendid.

    1. Thank you Dominique, such a beautiful quote! I really hope you go, would love to go again too!😘

Leave a Reply