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Dalida - The Wardrobe of a Diva

In a new exhibition opening April 27th, Paris' Palais Galliera will pay homage to the extraordinary Dalida, an elegant singer, powerful actress and unstoppable style icon who held the world ablaze with her fashion.

Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon

Few things fascinate more than the quintessential tragic diva, and Dalida, a former Miss Egypt with Italian heritage who decided to conquer the French world of chanson, possessed just the right mix of exotic, classic, and doomed. 

This Parisian exhibiton will showcase Dalida's iconic fashion through glimpses of her on and off-stage wardrobe, which her brother, Orlando, recently donated to the Palais Galeria.

A femme fatale whose ambitions were first directed towards French cinema, Dalida – née Yolanda Cristina Gigliotti – began performing on theatre stages in Paris, on the Champs-Elysées, before having a 30-year career as a 1950s and 1960s starlet, racking up 19 number one hit singles in four languages (French, Italian, German and Arabic), and recording numerous top selling singles that consolidated her star status from France to Austria, and from Lebanon to Japan – surprisingly refusing to be introduced to American audiences until 1978.

Meanwhile, unhappiness and dramatic romantic relationships took a severe toll on Dalida’s personal life. 

Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon, black and white poster

Incredibly, a former husband, a close friend, a lover and a fiancé all took their own lives, leaving her traumatized and inconsolable. She attempted to take her own life by overdosing on drugs and spent 5 days in a coma before recovering. After this first attempt, an abortion left her infertile. On 3 May 1987, the feline eyed singer succeeded in committing suicide by overdosing on barbiturates.

She left a note that said: “La vie m'est insupportable... Pardonnez-moi”, which translates to: "Life has become unbearable for me... Forgive me."

Anonyme ensemble bleu 1957, Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon Pierre Balmain manteau 1961, Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon
Loris Azzaro robe longue 1976, Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon Reinhard Luthier robe longue 1979, Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon
Gabriele Meyer robe 1961, Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon Carven robe 1961, Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon
Michel Fresnay Mine Barral Vergez robe longue 1980, Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon Anonyme robe panthäre 1981, Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon
Balmain Ziberline de soie ivoire 1973, Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon Jean Dessäs robe 1958, Dalida, fashion, style, exhibition, Paris, Palais Galliera, style, icon

A fashion icon through and through, Dalida could look glamorous in a red velvet 1950’s dress by Jacques Esterel or a Balmain 70’s pinafore dress, chic and understated in Loris Azarro, dazzling in 80’s sequined disco outfits by Michel Fresnay or classical and timeless in Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. This exhibition is filled with her quintessential dazzling style. 

La Reserve Hotel and Spa, Paris, luxury hotel, red velvet sofa, gold brocade

We hope you can savour the beauty of her life and the style of her times when staying at the luxe La Réserve Apartments or the Hotel and Spa this spring and summer – luxury hotels that Dalida would have loved for their privacy and elegant style, a true Parisian hideaway and escape.

For more Parisian style titbits and under-the-radar hotspots, have a look at our Paris Design Guide, nudging you to all the cool fashion, art, design and archicture hotspots this unstoppably stylish city has to offer.

White Line Hotels are a carefully curated selection of design, luxury and boutique hotels, all rooted in location, originality and endless charisma.

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