National Gallery of Victoria is presenting the exhibition The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture at NGV International from 27 August to 7 November 2017. I’ve already gone twice and I can tell you, it was the most beautiful, incredible, extravagant fashion experience I ever had in my entire life.
This exhibition entertains you like as if you are walking literally into “a House”.
The lighting and the 60’s film score welcome you with big windows, dresses, and storytelling.
The very first outfit that welcomes you is the ‘Bar, afternoon ensemble’ from the spring−summer 1947 collection.
Credit: National Gallery of Victoria (Willy Maywald/ADAGP. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.)
The single most discussed and photographed work form Dior’s debut collection is this. with its 12 meters of black pleated wool and highly sculpted cream jacket. Named after the bar at the Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris. This was the ‘New Look’.
The first room you walk into is like the first living room. The chandeliers on the walls make the atmosphere like a home.
This room tells us the early years of Christian Dior’s life and how he was discovered. He was born into a comfortable middle-class family in 1905 in Granville, in northwestern France. At the age of 5, his family relocated to Paris where as a young man, Dior developed an interest in architecture and art. Initially studying political science to please his parents, Dior eventually persuaded them to provide financial backing for a contemporary art gallery. While this was short-lived, Dior opened a second art gallery with Pierre Colle, further developing connections with Salvador Dali and Christian Berard that remained key throughout his life.
For Dior, the 1920s was a challenging time for him – periods of military service and family misfortune, including the deaths of his brother and mother, and his family business failing. Without an income, Dior was encouraged by a friend to his hand at fashion sketching. Stints as a fashion illustrator for local couturiers, newspapers soon followed, and in 1938 Dior was hired as a design assistant for fashion house Robert Piguet. By the time the war was over, Dior was employed as a designer at Lucien Lelong, the largest and the most prestigious couture house in Paris.
Collection Chart 1954 H line, autumn-winter 1954-55
The second room is like a Ballroom. This stunning chandelier takes your breath away as you move across 2 floors seeing the most extravagant dresses displayed around it.
This room had a lot of my favorites because it was all about exaggerated silhouettes, heavily embroidered and woven silks of time!
While the short A-line silhouette of this evening dress bears no relation to the floor-length robes of the 18th century, Dior was sure to make the reference point clear by specifically listing the richly embroidered bands used in its creation as ‘Versailles’ braid in royal red.
Christian Dior designer: Almee, short evening dress 1955 A-line, spring-summer 1955
You might be surprised but this Look 27, dress 2004 autumn-winter 2004-2005 by John Galliano is a dress I would’ve worn for my wedding if ever possible.
Love the asian fusion in their design!
Check out these boots! So different from anything else I’ve seen.
I love the beauty in this simplicity and this silhouette!
The perfection of “Little Black Dress”.
Hope you are enjoying having a peek inside the gallery! The tour is not finished!
There are 4 main rooms in total in this exhibition and I will feature on the 3rd and the 4th room on the next post.
More to come!!
Credit: National Gallery of Victoria