When it comes to haute couture – there’s nothing quite like Christian Dior.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the House of Dior, one of the most prestigious couture houses in the world, the
Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria will present the never-before-seen exhibition The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture.
The exhibition is is a collaboration between the NGV and the House of Dior and will be staged from August 25 until November 7 2017.
A sumptuous display of more than 140 garments from Christian Dior Couture designed 1947 to 2017 is set to have fashionistas swooning.
Highlights include examples from Christian Dior’s iconic Spring1947 ‘New Look’ collection, magnificent displays of Dior’s
signature ballgowns and evening dresses, as well as currentcontemporary designs from the House’s first female head
designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Drawing primarily on material from the House of Dior archive inParis and the NGV Collection, the exhibition will also feature accessories, sketches, photographs, haute couture toiles, multimedia and archival material.
Dior began his fashion career late in life. Following political science studies and a career running two
successive art galleries between 1928 and 1934, where he displayed the works of major artists of the era, Dior
commenced working as a fashion illustrator, producing sketches for local couturiers, milliners and newspapers, such as Le Figaro.
In 1938 Dior was hired as design assistant for Robert Piguet and, after his war service, in 1941 went to work for the fashion house Lucien Lelong as a junior designer, where he remained for the next five years.
Dior opened his couture house, Christian Dior, on December 16 1946 with a staff of 60 at 30 Avenue Montaigne,
Launching his first spring–summer collection the following year, on the February 12 1947, Dior introduced a new
post-war silhouette comprised of rounded shoulders, boned bodices, padded hips and full skirts made with an
abundance of fabric that reaffirmed ideals of femininity and luxury in fashion. Over the next decade Dior continued to
recalibrate French couture with his twice-yearly collections of new lines and his designs were frequently worn by film
stars, aristocrats and Royalty.
In 1948 Dior opened the first American Company Christian Dior – New York, Inc, followed by C.D. Models in London in
1952 and Christian Dior Venezuela, Inc in 1953, and in the early 1950s initiated manufacturing under license contracts
with department stores in Canada, Australia, Mexico, Cuba and Chile.
The house also expanded to include accessory lines such as perfume, millinery, stockings, gloves, shoes and jewellery. Up until his death of a heart attack in October 1957 at the age of 52, Dior drove what is considered the international renaissance of French couture.
The exhibition will narrate the rich history of the fashion house, including Christian Dior’s early influences, the design codes synonymous with Dior, as well as the milestones of its six successive designers following Christian Dior’s sudden death in 1957, including the esteemed designers Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Affinity with Australia
The exhibition will also explore Dior’s unique affinity with Australia, including the historic Spring 1948 fashion parade at David Jones, Sydney, where House models wore fifty original creations by Christian Dior.
This is considered the first complete Dior collection to be shown outside of Paris.
The exhibition will be a celebration of Dior’s most landmark moments and designs, including their iconic ‘New Look’ silhouette, which revolutionised women’s fashion in the 1950s, through to the present-day contemporary aesthetic.
What The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture
Where NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne,
When August 27- November 7 2017.
Tickets Tickets on sale now from NGV.MELBOURNE.
Adult $26 Concession $23.50 Child 5–15 years $10 Family – 2 adults + 3 children $65.