a massive dior couture retrospective is coming to australia

The huge 2017 show will explore the legendary French house’s relationship with the country.

by Wendy Syfret
09 December 2016, 1:38pm

The National Gallery of Victoria, in Melbourne, has just announced that it will be keeping up its unparalleled run of fashion exhibitions in 2017, beginning with The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture. The show, which opens in August, will feature over 140 pieces of couture from 1947 to 2017. Alongside the garments will be a number of additional materials from Dior history — including accessories, sketches, and photographs — to provide a more complete picture of the house's heritage.

Beyond the French label's European roots, the show will also revisit the relationship between Dior and Australia. The connection dates back to Spring 1948, when models at a David Jones fashion parade wore 50 original Christian Dior creations. The event marked the first time a complete Dior collection was shown outside of Paris.

Previously, the National Gallery expressed an admiration for the French master in its 2013 show Dior and Yamamoto: The New Look. The smaller exhibition examined the work of Christian Dior and Yohji Yamamoto as two pivotal influencers in fashion history. They used the designers's work to explore how individuals can revolutionize the way we wear and understand clothes.

At the beginning of this year, the NGV expanded its already impressive fashion archive when donor Krystyna Campbell-Pretty purchased the collection of former Givenchy couturier Dominique Sirop. Among the acquired 130 French haute couture pieces, spanning from the 1800s to 2003, was a Christian Dior New Look day suit. The suit was from the first collection he presented in spring 1947 that introduced a post-war world to the new romantic, hyper feminine silhouette that would become a house and fashion staple. NGV senior curator Katie Somerville has said the Sirop collection will be exhibited in 2018, but we're betting the suit makes an appearance in August.


Text Wendy Syfret
Images courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria 

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