Love is ALL

Vertigineuse majesté cachée

Alessandra Cenna

Galliera - Backside © Paris Musées -Pierre Antoine 














The back is the star of a magnificent Parisian exhibition at the Musée Bourdelle, in duet with the Palais Galliera, during the duration of its extension work.


The most beautiful backs of fashion are discovered in the middle of the workshop and works of the famous sculptor.

The fashion designers have always understood the importance and power of the majestic beauty of a neck, beautiful shoulders and a fall of the kidneys.

Jeanloup Sieff, Le dos d’Astrid Heeren, 

Palm Beach [Robe Bill Blass pour Maurice Rentner,  publiée dans Harper’s Bazaar, 1964

Galliera - Backside © Paris Musées -Pierre Antoine 

Galliera - Backside © Paris Musées -Pierre Antoine 






Western society, the back remains a treasure hidden in eroticism veiled by laces, ribbons and hooks that only lovers and chambermaids were allowed to undo.


From the thirteenth century, the train undulated behind the rumps to signify according to its importance the social rank of the one who wore it. Symbol of nobility by its presence and wealth by its dimensions, it becomes synonymous with seduction games from the 1920s.


Rita de Acosta Lydig, a New York socialite, is one of the first to dare to dig her cleavage at the back of her evening dress.

It caused a sensation and scandal during a performance at the Opera House. This first opened the voice to a true mode taken up with happiness by the Hollywood productions to success. The women’s emancipation movement seizes this liberation of a new part of the female body at a time when the codes of beauty are changing. 


The cult of tanning replaces that of whiteness and the indentations of town and beach outfits.

During the war, the Hays code forbade showing the actresses’ breasts in the movies, so the bare backs are a wonderful answer to divert this lack of freedom of expression.

Galliera - Backside © Paris Musées -Pierre Antoine 

Sensual, all in subtle curves, the back is revealed only after the entry of a beautiful, refined neckline waiting to unveil and has more charm.


Photographer Jeanloup Sieff has made women’s backs the main subject of his iconic black and white shots immortalized in the most daring clothes of many stylists. Guy Laroche’s famous cult black dress worn by the lovely Mireille Darc, Yves Saint Laurent’s lace back, Thierry Mugler’s winged dress, and Jean Paul Gaultier’s two-sided corsets are all inescapable examples of this myth. thus unveiled.


The back often hides behind the front monastic rigor to reinforce its effect of surprise and, consequently, its disturbing and erotic seduction.


Carved, embroidered, unveiled, adorned, tattooed with messages, the designers of McQueen in Yamamoto compete with ingenuity to sublimate this so divinized back that delights the star to the most scandalous décolletés.

«Dos à la Mode» is an original invitation to discover the history of women’s fashion in an elegant monumental scenography where Haute-Couture and sculptures dialogue marvellously.




BACK SIDE / BACK IN FASHION Until November 17, 2019

Exhibition outside the walls of the Palais Galliera - Bourdelle Museum - Paris XV

Galliera - Backside © Paris Musées -Pierre Antoine 

Galliera - Backside © Paris Musées -Pierre Antoine 

Galliera - Backside © Paris Musées -Pierre Antoine