Go Inside The Dior Exhibit Celebrating The House's 70 Years of Fashion

Go Inside The Dior Exhibit Celebrating The House's 70 Years of Fashion

V gives you an inside look at the new Canadian exhibit centered around the legendary designer.

V gives you an inside look at the new Canadian exhibit centered around the legendary designer.

Text: Maxwell N. Burnstein

The labyrinth of designs at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Christian Dior exhibition looks to the late designer's first decade in defining the “New Look” of the post-war era. Curator Dr. Alexandra Palmer uses an academic approach to constructing Dior’s foundational years (1947-1957) through the women who adorned his daytime looks to evening gowns that segment the exhibit.

Concentrated in a single hall, the open-concept layout feels dense with the 38 dresses that came to define feminine style of the 50’s. Large metallic bulbs installed above the ball gowns and video projections around the space make it feel contemporary, while the glass encasings lining the room with accessories contextualize the show's historic subject matter.

Dior’s first collection re-imagined the body as a rejection of the masculine silhouettes for women during the war effort. Long full skirts, clinched waists, and soft shoulders comprised iconic silhouettes like the 'Palmyre' (1952), the 'Delphine' (1956), and the 'Auteuil' (1994), with the Canadian tartan of the 'Batignolles' (1949) belonging to Lillian Weiss. Traditionally passive audiences can engage with the fixed glass screens (iPads) in front of each dress. Revealing the original sketches, technical characteristics of the garment, archival images, and stories of the women who owned the dresses gives insight into the life of each Dior piece. Dr. Palmer’s intimate study in Christian Dior: History and Modernity, published to coincide with the exhibition, details these accounts by chronicling the history of the Dior pieces on display.

Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Dior, the exhibit helps to realize the fashion sensibility of Canada’s socialites after the war. The anticipated closing keynote, “70 years of Dior” (February 20, 2017; 7:00-8:00 PM) will bring global fashion icon Florence Müller to explore the House of Dior since the inception as marked by this show.

This first time that the collection is displayed as a cohesive exhibit marks a hallmark for Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum. The global accreditation marked by Christian Dior helps positions the ROM as they roll out a series of fashion-focused content through 2018 as an ambassador for Canada’s fashion industry. Take a look at photos from the exhibit below.

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