That One Time I Got to See Behind the Scenes at Christian Dior

 

So, I am due for a more cultural post. No sadness it today’s blog! I have been way behind; in fact, I am going to be discussing an event I went to last year that was by far one of the coolest things I have done in Paris. It was funny too because it actually happened the same weekend as the Versailles ball from last year (which I still have not blogged about!).

Anyway, LVHM, or Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, held an open house last June where the public was invited to explore the factories, flagships, and headquarters of all their brands across the world. Of course, Paris had the most to offer and I chose Chaumet and Dior. The lines were excruciating long, but I think worth it to see everything up close and personal to see the so-called “Les Journées Particulières de LVHM.” This is a long post all about France and fashion, so get comfortable!

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We were not allowed to take pictures at Chaumet, a fine jeweler in Place Vendome. However, it was super cool seeing the artisans work up close and personal. We got to see their current projects and ask them questions about their jobs. I never realized the work that went into fine jewelry, but it was pretty incredible! Plus, we were given a tour of the building and we got to see some incredible tiaras.

This is the piece they were working on last year. It was still a drawing at the time so it is interesting to see it completed!

I chose Chaumet because the lines were not as long, and I wanted to get to Dior before they closed. I would have chosen LV itself obviously, but they only had factories open in other regions of Paris. So, I was satisfied with my choices needless to say.

Next, I went to Dior, and I am not going to say how long the line was, but just know that I was able to finish a book while waiting. However, it was absolutely amazing once we got inside. We were given a tour of the whole head quarters, and we stopped at stations along the way from masters of embroidery to people making the bags!!! We got to touch everything, take a million pictures, and just wander at will.

I loved the handbag designers the most. We also saw Jennifer Laurence’s dress from the Oscars when she won her award and tripped.

2013 Oscars: Jennifer Lawrence's dress. Click through for more photos!

The Trip

 

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The dress in person!
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Almost inside!
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The line…

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The outside windows entertained me while I waited...
The outside windows entertained me while I waited…

 

At the end of the tour, we were given a Dior bag with a little book inside of everything we saw!! Now, anything that gives me presents is instantly a winner in my book. Unfortunately, there was no open house this year as I thought it was an annual event. I hope they have one next June because I want to see other brands that I was not able to visit!

 

A menswear tailor showed all the detailed business of a suit.
A menswear tailor showed all the detailed business of a suit.
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The stitching and number of layers is insane and much more complex than I expected.
Tools of the trade
Tools of the trade
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I’m not really a shoe person, but this was cool nonetheless.

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Now, this was my favorite part of the tour- BAGS!!! I am such a hoarder when it comes to purses. We got to play with the pieces and feel them as they worked on the bag right in front of us.

 

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Hello pink crocodile!!

 

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Gorgeous!! I would have gladly taken the unfinished product…

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So in the picture below you can see dress forms above the man, We were told that those were the personalized forms of clients a.k.a. celebrities and really ridiculously wealthy people. Some needed lots of extra padding. One day, I want to be so successful that Dior has a dress form of me.

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The embroidery station. This people must have patience and squinty eyes like none other.
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The muslin copy with the finished product behind.

 

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The forms with the customized padding

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More muslin designs with the finished product.
More muslin designs with the finished product.

 

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This was the boning and structural part of the tour. It is not surprised to understand the high cost of designer clothes when you see the time and work put into them.

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I loved this part of the tour too. The “bead specialist” let us touch her work which was so detailed.

 

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This woman was working on the beading as seen for the dress below and on the right. Insanity!!

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How long did that take?!
How long did that take?!

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This was for the black and silver beaded dress. It was inspired by a dress from the 2012 haute couture collection. In short, haute couture is used to designate pieces made by hand. There are only a handful of design houses with this honor, and this is why haute couture fashion week is always smaller and more prestigious than regular fashion week.

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This was the baby section of Dior. They were working on christening gowns from Christian Dior, hahahaha.
This was the baby section of Dior. They were working on christian-ing gowns from Christian Dior, hahahaha, I am here until Thurseday.

 

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They showed us how they curled the lace or fabric. It was with a hot iron rod, and it looked liked something out of the 18th century. In fact, I would not be surprised if it was.
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Now, jewelry. I saw some of this earlier at Chaumet, and I was not as interested in it here. But, you can get an idea of what I saw.

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This beautiful thing has individual placed feathers. The process reminded me of false eye lashes for some reason.
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The inspiration for the watch was taken from the fall campaign that was based in Versailles.

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We saw them making this piece. GORGEOUS

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As you can see, this was such a cool day. After the jewelry, we got to see the perfumerie, but my camera died!! I also has some cool pictures of me, but alas I lost my phone.  I will have to take a picture of my book, but upon research I found that they gave out little flasks of J’adore Dior in 2011!!!

http://petitlien.fr/7dkm The 2011 gift- No fair, but I like my coffee table book too! Each gold wire is done by hand, and we got to see them do that which was not exciting, but nice to know I suppose haha.

So, phew. That was a long post, but I hope you enjoyed a look at Christian Dior at an amazing event put on by LVMH!

 

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