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DIOR CELEBRATES 70 YEARS WITH THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA

Article written by Maggie Kelly / Images courtesy of www.ngv.vic.gov.au
Gabrielle Sauve [Features Director]

Book tickets or find out more about The House Of Dior exhibition at: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/the-house-of-dior/

Models posing in new Christian Dior collection. (Photo by Loomis Dean//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)


Christian Dior at House of Dior’s headquarters, 30 Avenue Montaigne, Paris © Willy Maywald/ADAGP, Paris. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney


Christian Dior draping fabric over fashion mannequin Sylvie c. 1948 Dior Heritage collection, Paris © Christian Dior / Photo: Bellini

The National Gallery of Victoria has partnered with Dior to celebrate the French fashion house’s 70th anniversary this year. Launched with a gala black tie ball last Saturday, the NGV has curated a stunning retrospective of Dior’s most famous gowns in an exhibition that will show until the 7th of November, 2017.

The never-before-seen collection, The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture, showcases over 140 garments from Christian Dior Couture designed between 1947 and 2017. Two Dior Haute Couture works (especially commissioned for and acquired by the gallery) will also be on display in the exhibition: Essence d’Herbier from the spring–summer 2017 collection, designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Look 10, Bar coat from the autumn-winter 2012–13 collection, designed by Raf Simons.

One of the major partners to the exhibition is retail giant David Jones, who shares a special affinity with the Dior brand. In 1948, just one year after launching in Paris, Christian Dior took their Spring range to Melbourne with a historic fashion parade at the original David Jones store. It would be the first time that Dior would be shown outside of Paris, and the beginning of a long-standing relationship between Australia and the fashion house.

Christian Dior, Paris (fashion house); John Galliano (designer). Models wearing spring−summer 1997, featured in US Vogue, April 1997. Dior Heritage collection, Paris. Photo © Peter Lindbergh / Models: Christina Kruse, Shalom Harlow, Carolyn Murphy, Ling Tan and Debra Shaw


Christian Dior, Paris (fashion house); Raf Simons (designer) Models wearing autumn−winter 2014 15. Dior Heritage collection, Paris. Photo © Thomas Lohr

To celebrate the opening, the NGV will be hosting artisans from the Christian Dior Couture atelier in Paris, who will be working on couture garments in the exhibition space during the first and last weeks of the exhibition. Standing before them in a room of toiles, watching them painstakingly sew a single bead at a time, one can only just begin to understand the exceptional craftsmanship that is involved with each of the Dior couture gowns.

Spotted at the opening was legendary Dior milliner Stephen Jones, creator of the Artist’s Palette and Brush Hat from Fall 2007, wandering around a room of his most famous creations. Also in attendance was one of the original models of the 1957 Australian Couture parade, Svetlana Lloyd, who at 81 was reunited with a gown she modelled in the 50’s.The retrospective is an exceptional homage to the Parisian fashion house, which has seen so many incarnations over the decades, and yet has always maintained its unique brand identity. The iconic Dior bell-shape design can be seen from Christian Dior’s earliest work, right through the outlandish creations of John Galliano, and indeed into their most recent collections.

This is a unique experience to get up close and personal with some of the fashion world’s most beautiful creations, in a spectacular space that will transport you to the original Dior Paris boutique some seventy years ago.

“In a machine age, dressmaking is one of the last refuges of the human, the personal, the inimitable.” – Christian Dior

Christian Dior, Paris (fashion house); Maria Grazia Chiuri (designer) Models wearing spring−summer 2017. Dior Heritage collection, Paris / Photo © Morgan O’Donovan

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