Celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the House of Dior, the National Gallery of Victoria is currently showing The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture, a unique collaboration between the NGV and the House of Dior, featuring more than 140 stunning Dior garments. Exclusive to Melbourne, Sidney Toledano, Chief Executive of Christian Dior Couture, reveals that it is the biggest Dior exhibition ever held in Australia.
Dior’s lineage with Australia dates way back to 1948, with 50 original Dior creations featured at the David Jones Spring Fashion parade in Sydney.
Models arriving in Australia for the presentation of Christian Dior’s last collection in 1957. (Image courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria)
Katie Somerville, the NGV’s senior curator of fashion and textiles, said that exhibition was the first complete Dior collection to be shown outside of Paris and helped shaped the Australian fashion scene which remains relevant today. Christian Dior also named some of his designs ‘Melbourne’ and ‘Sydney’, as well as creating certain looks called “Australie”. This revolutionary fashion scene celebrated the elegance of the female form and reinvigorated the fashion world, a welcomed change after the wake of World War II.
The new House of Dior exhibition is the biggest Dior display ever held in Australia with NGV director Tony Ellwood stating Melbourne was one of only three world cities chosen to help celebrate Dior’s 70th anniversary. “The other exhibitions are being staged alongside commemorative events in Paris and New York,” he said. “The exhibition will invite Australian and international audiences to discover some of the most significant couture designs of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.”
A woman models the Christian Dior 1947 Bar suit, in 1955. (Image courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria/Willy Maywald)
Showcasing the rich history of the Dior fashion house, the exhibition will explore Dior’s early influences and feature works by seven key designers who helped shaped Dior’s infamous brand: Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Dior as a brand has managed to maintain the same values promoted by its original founder Christian Dior. Initially seen as only a female brand, Dior strived to be close to his customers needs and pushed for perfection in each piece he created, making sure the respect of the client was fore-front and the aim to bring beauty for every woman. Today the brand still proudly carries the traditional values and has also diversified by developing products for men such as Dior Homme and even Baby Dior, a children’s brand, all still managing brand integrity and brand excellence.
Although the creative directors may have changed throughout time, each has successfully contributed to maintaining the drive for perfection which the Dior brand stands for, and making this one of the strongest luxury brands of today.
Women at work at the House of Dior, taken in 1948. (Image courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria/Dior)
Models don Dior at the announcement of the NGV exhibition. (Image courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria)
Don’t miss The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture – at NGV International from August 27 until November 7, 2017.
Senior Finished Artist