July 14, 2019

J’ADORE DIOR

The Dallas Museum of Art brings a little bit of Paris to Dallas

Although only at the helm of his fashion house for a scant 10 years, legendary couturier Christian Dior left a monumental influence on fashion, assuring his legacy will last well into the 21st Century.  

Dresses designed by John Galliano during his time as head of Christian Dior from 1996-2011.

Celebrating more than 70 years of the French fashion house’s enduring legacy, Dior: From Paris to the World,is on view at the Dallas Museum of Art on through September 1, 2019, after wrapping up a blockbuster reign at the Denver Art Museum.  

Originally staged in 2017/2018 at the Musée des Arts  Décoratifs in Paris, the show traces the history of the house through more than a hundred couture dresses, accessories, photographs, sketches, runway videos and a visual display of the designer’s atelier. The exhibit gives museumgoers a deeper look at fashion as an art form—not much of a stretch of a concept when one considers Dior was an art gallerist before he became a legendary couturier. 

Designer Yves Saint Laurent’s Banco Dress for Christian Dior from the 1958 Spring/Summer Trapèze line. ©Laziz  Hamani. Christian Dior’s celestial blue taffeta gown worn by Mrs. Elizabeth Firestone in 1953 was an iconic example of the cinched-waist ‘50s silhouette. ©Laziz Hamani.

Staged chronologically, the viewer moves through Christian Dior’s hyper-feminine post-war “New Look” to Yves Saint Laurent’s haute couture-gone-beatnik years (1958-1960). The more commercial collections by Marc Bohan (1961–1989) and Gianfranco  Ferré  (1989–1996) span the middle, giving way to John Galliano’s (1997-2011) over-the-top bias-cut gowns to present day work by Maria Grazia Chiuri. 

Dior’s voluminous skirts and nipped waists had their share of detractors upon their debut, but ladies across the United States ultimately embraced the Dior direction. After the designer won the esteemed Neiman Marcus Award in 1947, couture collectors across North and South America (Dallas included) helped solidify Dior’s reputation. 

This rare opportunity to see the intricacy and imagination behind the seams should thrill even the most casual of fashion fans. Throughout the duration of the show, the DMA is holding related programming to enrich visitors’ understanding of the fashion house and its lasting impact on the world of Parisian couture as well as interior design.

 The Details: Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N Harwood Street. To find out about related events and to purchase tickets, go to dma.org. (Insider tip: Popular nights and weekend times are selling out; purchase tickets in advance to get the day and time you prefer.)