The National Gallery of Victoria presents: The House of Dior, Seventy Years of Haute Couture

 
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Christian Dior | Aventure ensemble, spring-summer 1948 haute couture collection | Photo by Patrick Demarchelier

 

The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture, in celebration of the seventieth anniversary of the House of Dior  is currently on display at the National Gallery of Victoria.

The exhibition narrates the rich history of the fashion house, including Christian Dior’s early influences, the design codes synonymous with the House of Dior, insights into the Dior atelier workrooms, the role that accessories have played in expressing the complete Dior look and the milestones of its six successive designers following Christian Dior’s sudden death in 1957.

During the 1950s house mannequins were integral to the running of a couture house, assisting in the development and sale of each garment. Every design in a collection was fitted on the girl chosen to model it in a process that took up to six weeks. Dior recognised the critical role mannequins played in successfully conveying his designs and played an active role in their selection, stating, ‘they are the life of my dresses and I want my dresses to be happy’. He also aimed for a variety of ages, personalities and figures so that clients could envisage themselves in the dress.

The House of Dior explores the story of the fashion house through a series of themes, featuring works by the seven designers who have played key roles in shaping Dior’s renowned fashionable silhouette: Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

 Marc Bohan with mannequins wearing autumn-winter 1964 | Photo by Frank Horvat

Marc Bohan with mannequins wearing autumn-winter 1964 | Photo by Frank Horvat

 Christian Dior | The ‘Bar’ suit spring-summer 1947

Christian Dior | The ‘Bar’ suit spring-summer 1947