‘Dalida, her Wardrobe On and Off-Stage’
When I was in Paris, I had the considerable pleasure of seeing an exhibition of the extensive wardrobe of renowned singer Dalida, showing the Palais Galliera. The Palais is a stunning example of 19th century architecture, and is devoted to the exhibition of fine fashion, clothing and textile design. It houses its own collections, workshops and ateliers, and shows a diverse range of wardrobes from an equally diverse range of eras, designers, performers, and celebrities. For the lovers of fashion, textiles and fine couture, this museum is a must-see.
Dalida was an immensely popular singing sensation in France.
Worldwide, millions of people appreciated her French beauty, style, and theatre. This stunning wardrobe collection was recently donated to the museum by her brother, Orlando. Dalida performed and recorded in more than ten languages, including Arabic, Italian, Greek, German, French, English, Japanese, Hebrew, Dutch and Spanish, and ranks among the 7 biggest singers of all time. In 1957, Dalida was the first artist to be awarded a gold record in France, and earned more than 70 in her career. She was the first singer to receive platinum and diamond discs.
She was the first female recording artist to have her own fan club. I know I'd have been in it. Dalida developed an amazonian presence over the years years. I can imagine she was riveting.
Dalida was an Egyptian beauty, celebrated singer, and a lover of fashion.
With a figure to die for – even as she matured – and a willingness to be sheathed in haute couture or prêt-à-porter, she was beloved by the great fashion houses of her time.
As her fame grew, and as the exhibition progresses through the timeline, Dalida blurred the lines between stage wear and daywear. Her flamboyance resulted in impressive costumes and streetwear created by the most celebrated designers across three decades, added to and developed by her own sense of design, fashion, and theatre. She was born to be on stage.
Her garde-robe is fascinating.
The detailing, styles, and colours of her wardrobe is impressive. For the lovers of couture – either wearing, watching, or creating – the quality of craftsmanship, exquisite handiwork, and luxurious fabrics will leave you spell-bound. Everything bespoke. I wanted to get inside of the garments, see how they were made, and soak up every detail.
I couldn't embed this link, by request from the contributor, but visit 'Dalida: Monday, Tuesday...' to watch the classic video of this song. It plays in the exhibition, and so I think I will always remember it. The dress she is wearing onstage is shown below, in the white and orange feather detail.
‘Dalida was archetypally Mediterranean – sunny and tragic'
According to the press release about the collection, Dalida was at once theatrical and gregarious, alternately sliding into melancholy or depression. You would imagine that she lived the life of someone touched only by extraordinary greatness, fantasy, and richness. However, fuelled by a series of tragedies, and one already unsuccessful attempt on her own life, she ended her own life during the night of the 2 - 3rd of May 1987.
The world had lost a great Diva.
Her last note to the world read:
‘La vie m'est insupportable... pardonnez-moi'.
'Life has become unbearable for me...forgive me’.
Dalida was a consummate performer
She delivered many diverse and engaging personal transformations, as well as being a truly capable singer. Emotion drives delivery, and Dalida experienced a life rich with personal tragedy. Here, she performs the memorable 'Je Suis Malade', a powerful tribute to her melancholy. Onstage, in all her glory, in her later years. Blonde now, and charismatic.
It took a bit of finding, without ads.
As always, the team at the Palais Galliera have done a marvellous job of presenting this delicious 3-dimensional, audio-visual exhibition, which cannot fail to impress. The exhibition runs until August 13th, 2017, at 10 avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie, 75116, Paris. Full price admission is 12€, concessions available, and the Palais Galliera is accessible to persons with disabilities. Check their website for more detailed information.
Highly recommended *****
For more information
Interested in reading her story in French? 'Dalida' is available on Amazon.