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PARIS, July 3 (Reuters) - The creative director of Paris fashion house Dior gave a rare glimpse behind the scenes at its studios ahead of Haute Couture fashion week, as the brand celebrates its 70th anniversary.
Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first woman to hold the position in the label's history, said she "went around Dior's archive" as founder Christian Dior "went around the world" to inspire her new collection.
Inside the studios, scores of seamstresses worked on elaborate chiffon and gold-painted dresses, creating the ensembles that were unveiled in a highly-anticipated Autumn/Winter 2017-18 Haute Couture collection on Monday.
The Italian's first Haute Couture collection was presented on a fern-lined outdoor catwalk near Paris' Hotel des Invalides, with celebrities, including singer Celine Dion and Spanish actress Rossy de Palma, in attendance.
Chiuri said she had been inspired by a map she found in the fashion house's archives, symbolizing Christian Dior's willingness to allow cultures from around the world to influence his work.
Later on Monday, Paris's Decorative Arts Museum will hold a VIP opening for its latest exhibition, "Christian Dior: dream designer", bringing together the designs and cultural inspiration behind Dior's history. (Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London; Editing by Mark Potter)