How do you celebrate your 70th birthday? A birthday bash, cake and champagne? Sure, if you’re a regular ol’ nobody. If you’re the House of Dior, it means not one, but two blockbuster retrospectives. “Christian Dior, Couturier du Rêve” opened at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris during Couture Week in July, and will run till 7 January, 2018. The second, “The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture” is closer to our neck of the woods — it runs from now to 7 November, 2017 at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.
More than 140 Christian Dior Couture garments, designed between 1947 and 2017, will be on display at the exhibition, which spans 20,075sqft of floor space and seven sections. This includes creations from the House’s eponymous founder, as well as the six designers who have helmed the Maison following his death: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.
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Drawing largely on the House of Dior archives and the NGV Collection, highlights to look out for include pieces from Christian Dior’s now-iconic spring 1947 “New Look” collection (a term coined by BAZAAR‘s own Carmel Snow), ballgowns and evening dresses, as well as accessories (including 50 bespoke headpieces designed by milliner Stephen Jones specially for the exhibition), sketches, photographs, haute couture toiles and multimedia.
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Beyond the clothes, Dior fans will appreciate the attention to detail paid to the exhibition design; from the dove grey walls to the recreation of the grand, sweeping staircase—an instantly recognisable mainstay of the couture house that has witnessed many a show and photoshoot over the course of the Maison’s history.
“It is a great pleasure and honour for the House of Dior to be celebrating its anniversary in 2017 in Melbourne. This exhibition will be the biggest Dior retrospective ever held in Australia. It will cover seventy years of creation, presenting the emblematic work of Christian Dior and his successors, including Maria Grazia Chiuri, who arrived last July and is the first woman at the head of the couture house,” said Sidney Toledano, President and CEO of Christian Dior Couture in a statement.
And for those of you who watched Dior & I, you won’t want to miss the chance to meet the artisans from the Christian Dior Couture atelier in Paris, who will be working on couture garments in the space during the last week of the exhibition. Time to book those tickets to Melbourne, stat.