In celebration of the prestigious fashion house’s seventieth anniversary, the House of Dior collaborated with the National Gallery of Victoria to present a stunning exhibition of the label’s creations, by some great fortune, in my very own city. I only needed to take a quick train in order to see decades of Dior designs in the flesh, showcasing iconic pieces from each creative director who was assigned the opportunity to create art for the illustrious fashion house.
It was immediately clear that each designer held an individual era in the house’s history, with the designs exuding the personality of the designer as well as the social and political contexts of the time. Despite the obvious contrasts between each designer’s era, they would often remain loyal to the original constructions by Christian Dior himself, reinventing those designs to suit their fresh visions. It emphasised the timelessness of Dior and why it has survived as an innovator in the world of couture. Of course, it also demonstrated that fashion trends tend to repeat themselves, whether that be for the better or the worse.
The ‘fit and flare’ style will always remain timelessly elegant, and Christian Dior was a pioneer in this regard. Gowns and suits from seventy years ago can easily resemble current styles and trends which is a testament to his designs.
It’s difficult to ignore the controversy of John Galliano’s expulsion from the fashion house, and even more so to disregard the evidence of his poor character and then to celebrate his designs. Nonetheless, his reign as creative director was an integral time of Dior’s history and his bold designs contrasted heavily against his more demure predecessors. It’s very frustrating when someone with admirable talent turns out to be a knob.
The dress famously worn by Nicole Kidman at the Oscars. The fur on the dress’s edges are an interesting touch, and one I can’t help think was unnecessary.
The exhibition was spread across various rooms, so it was exciting to keep discovering new themes as the exhibition went on. It concludes on a crescendo with the final room showcasing the magnificent couture gowns. There was so much fabric, embellishments, colour and superior craftsmanship that accentuated their diverse couture history. It’s actually really fun to go around and choose which gown you would wear if you could!
Thanks to the appointment of Maria Grazia Chiuri as Dior’s creative director, feminism has been brought to the forefront of the fashion world, and not in the superficial regard where feminism is merely a trend. Fashion has always been a way for women to express themselves even if they don’t always have the freedom to do so in other respects, and having a woman who believes in gender equality as the director of one of the greatest fashion houses in the world is empowering for women everywhere. Her passion is undeniably manifested in her creations and strongly resonates with her female clients, indicating that the Parisian fashion house has an exciting future ahead.
I loved the exhibitions so much that I visited a second time, just so I could once again be surrounded by this abundance of iconic fashion. If you are visiting Melbourne or in fact living in the city, I highly recommend taking a look as it ends on 7 November. Thanks for visiting my blog! x