National Gallery of Victoria Plans Blockbuster Dior Haute Couture Show

The fashion house has a long history with Australia.

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Inside the ateliers of the House of Dior (2012). Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, © Pol Baril.
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Inside the ateliers of the House of Dior (2012). Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, © Pol Baril.
Inside the ateliers of the House of Dior .
Inside the ateliers of the House of Dior (2012). Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, © Pol Baril.
Christian Dior, Paris, John Galliano, spring−summer 2011 haute couture collection. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, © Guy Marineau.
John Galliano (2011)
Christian Dior, Paris, John Galliano, spring−summer 2011 haute couture collection. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, © Guy Marineau.
Inside the ateliers of the House of Dior (circa 1950). Courtesy of Bellini, © Christian Dior.
Inside the ateliers of the House of Dior.
Inside the ateliers of the House of Dior (circa 1950). Courtesy of Bellini, © Christian Dior.
Christian Dior and fashion model Lucky (circa 1956). Courtesy of Bellini, © Christian Dior
Christian Dior and fashion model Lucky.
Christian Dior and fashion model Lucky (circa 1956). Courtesy of Bellini, © Christian Dior.
Christian Dior Eugenie dress, autumn−winter 1948 haute couture collection. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, © Willy Maywald/ADAGP, Paris. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.
Christian Dior Eugenie dress.
Christian Dior Eugenie dress, autumn−winter 1948 haute couture collection. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, © Willy Maywald/ADAGP, Paris. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.
Illustration if the Bar suit by Christian Bérard (1974). Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, © ADAGP, Paris 2016/Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.
Illustration if the Bar suit by Christian Bérard.
Illustration if the Bar suit by Christian Bérard (1974). Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, © ADAGP, Paris 2016/Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.
Christian Dior models arriving in Australia for the presentation of the autumn−winter 1957 haute couture collection, Christian Dior’s last collection, at Myer Mural Hallin Australia, November 1957. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria.
Christian Dior models arriving in Australia.
Christian Dior models arriving in Australia for the presentation of the autumn−winter 1957 haute couture collection, Christian Dior’s last collection, at Myer Mural Hallin Australia, November 1957. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria.
Christian Dior with fashion model Victoire wearing the "Zaire" dress (Autumn-Winter Haute Couture collection, H line), 1954. Courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria, © Mark Shaw.
Christian Dior with fashion model Victoire.
Christian Dior with fashion model Victoire wearing the "Zaire" dress (Autumn-Winter Haute Couture collection, H line), 1954. Courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria, © Mark Shaw.
Christian Dior Diorama dress, autumn−winter 1947 haute couture collection. Courtesy of Sante Forlano.
Christian Dior Diorama dress.
Christian Dior Diorama dress, autumn−winter 1947 haute couture collection. Courtesy of Sante Forlano.
Inside the ateliers of the House of Dior (2012). Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, © Pol Baril.
Inside the ateliers of the House of Dior.
Inside the ateliers of the House of Dior (2012). Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, © Pol Baril.
Christian Dior hat from the Raout silhouette, spring−summer 1956 haute couture collection, Fleche line. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, © Henry Clarke, Musée Galliera. ADAGP, Paris. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.
Christian Dior hat.
Christian Dior hat from the Raout silhouette, spring−summer 1956 haute couture collection, Fleche line. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, © Henry Clarke, Musée Galliera. ADAGP, Paris. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.

The next blockbuster fashion museum exhibition could require a trip down under. The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, has announced that it will present “The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture” in 2017.

The storied fashion house has a history with Australia, having presented its first complete collection shown outside Paris in Sydney in 1948, where 50 Dior designs were modeled at the Spring fashion parade at David Jones.

At the time, Dior was setting the standard for post-war fashion with its so-called “new look,” a feminine silhouette defined by full skirts, fitted waists, and daring bust lines.

Models posing in new Christian Dior collection in the salon of House of Dior's headquarters, 30 Avenue Montaigne, Paris 1957. Courtesy of Loomis Dean/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images.

Models posing in new Christian Dior collection in the salon of House of Dior’s headquarters, 30 Avenue Montaigne, Paris 1957. Courtesy of Loomis Dean/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images.

The upcoming exhibition, which is has been organized collaboratively by the museum and Christian Dior Couture, is a celebration of the House of Dior’s 70th anniversary. It will feature over 140 designs created between 1947 and today, highlighting the work of its head designers Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri (the company’s first female creative director, hired in July), not to mention Christian Dior himself, who died suddenly in 1957.

In addition to original garments, normally inaccessible to the general public, the show will include sketches, photographs, archival material, and plenty of accessories. Visitors can expect to learn more about Dior’s early influences, and the iconic designer’s legacy in the decades since his death.

The show will also provide an illuminating view of what the design process is like at the Dior atelier, where it can take hundreds of hours and dozens of skilled designers to bring the company’s vision to life—there’s a reason that haute couture garments can run upwards of $100,000.

“The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture” will be on view at the National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia, August 25–November 7, 2017.


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