Art, Textiles
4 out of 5 stars
4/ Daphné. Corsage et jupe 1957. Toile de coton bleue, ruban de raphia blanc. Collection Palais Galliera - © Julien Vidal / Galliera / Roger-Viollet
Dalida lors d’une émission sur TF1, 1980 (Tenue dessinée par Michel Fresnay et réalisées par Mine Barral Vergès) ©Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho Dalida à Bobino, 1958 © Studio Lipnitzki/Roger-Viollet

Legendary dresses for a legendary performer: Dalida at Galliera


2017 is definitively the year of Dalida. After the biopic of the much loved French singer, comes an exhibition of her wardrobe.

Made up of three chronological sections, the exhibition illustrates Dalida’s successive styles thanks to the many items bequeathed to her brother Orlando in Paris.

1955-1965. At this stage Dalida was a young singer and she performed at Bobino wearing a red velvet busty dress, designed by the dressmaker Jean Dessès. This dress that actually starts the exhibition remained as the star’s signature dress for 20 years. In the room entitled ‘The Silhouette of a Young Woman’ you can rediscover many of the dresses designed by Pierre Balmain, Jacques Esterel and Jean Dessès.

It's pivotal to download the app (which is very well done) which allows you to watch clips, televised performances and concerts where Dalida wore some of these exhibited dresses. Such as her performance of Ne lit pas cette lettre in Bulgaria in 1959 wearing a very simple blue Pierre Balmain dress.

The 1970s saw a change to a more radical look with long fluid dresses found in the second room. This was a period famous for the dressmakers like Loris Azzaro and outfits from Yves Saint Laurent had a more bohemian chic. Such as trench coats and ‘anonymous’ garments with psychedelic motifs or bowler hats and leather boots. There's also a room stock full of accessories, sunglasses, Christian Dior gold and silver sandals and high heels to make Dalida’s petite silhouette taller. Not to mention an array of foreign jewels from across the world.

Between the years 1978-1987, Dalida garned even more success in her 50s. This was a shift from dressmakers to costume designers, such as Michel Fresnay and Mine Barral with black velvet, glitter and a large pink cape. Not to mention other leather outfits by Jean-Claude Jitrois and her famous berets.

The last room presents Dalida in front of a camera, a screen or all the different film scenes where she played a diva in a dress. It's certainly an impressive and eclectic wardrobe revealing her immense career, which navigated disco and television programs; galas and recitals in France and Italy, and her native Egypt.


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