Melbourne’s NGV International will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the House of Dior, one of the world’s most illustrious couture houses in a world premiere exhibition.
From August 27 to November 7, The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture will showcase the fashion house’s elegant silhouettes throughout history, and celebrate the lasting legacy of fashion icon Christian Dior. Showing only in Melbourne, the exhibition is a collaboration between the iconic fashion house and the NGV presenting more than 140 garments designed between 1947 and 2017.
Showcasing pieces from all of the six designers that have subsequently taken the creative helm of the maison since the sudden death of its namesake in 1957, the exhibition will celebrate the milestones of immediate Dior successor Yves Saint Laurent, through to present day creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri.
“Audiences will discover the nuances of Dior’s fashion design, and observe the ways in which these have evolved through the decades,” says gallery director Tony Elwood.
“It wouldn’t be a Dior exhibition without their sculptural tailoring, their signature ball gowns and their glamorous evening dresses which have become synonymous with the fashion house.”
A key curatorial narrative of the exhibition will be an exploration of Dior’s unique influence on Australia, with the show telling the story of Dior’s historic spring fashion parade at David Jones in 1948. Thought to be the first complete Dior collection to be shown outside of Paris, the influence of the design house has been reflected in iconic Australian brands such as David Jones, who took its famous houndstooth branding from Dior’s use of the pattern in the 1950s.
Exhibition curator Katie Somerville, says the showcase will focus on the skill and craftsmanship required to create Dior’s Haute Couture creations, featuring an atelier at its centre.
“We really wanted to convey as dynamically as possible, an immersive sense of what it is and where it is, that this incredible magic happens within the context of a couture house,” says Somerville.
The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture continues the renowned reputation of the NGV for creating immersive and ever-engaging exhibitions that capture the imagination of the city of Melbourne.
Speaking at the launch of the exhibition, Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, called the exhibition “a major milestone for the gallery, for Dior and for our city”, touching on the significance of having such a monumental retrospective premiere in Melbourne before its world tour.