A little while ago during a trip to Melbourne, my sister-in-law and I got to experience the amazing Dior exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria: The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture. Despite the exhibition having already been running every day for a month when we visited, it was jam packed with people (we did go on the weekend).
Even with the crowds though, walking amongst and being surrounded by so many beautiful dresses made it feel like we were in a fairytale.
There are garments displayed from each of the seven head designers who have been at the creative helm of the House of Dior – from Christian Dior himself to current Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri.
This golden magnificence hails from Christian Dior’s 1956-7 Autumn/Winter collection.
A hand pleated skirt from Raf Simons’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection.
My personal favourite form the exhibition: this sheath dress from Gianfranco Ferré’s 1992 Spring/Summer collection.
From a distance, the dress looks deceptively simple. Up close, it tells another story.
There was also a mock atelier featuring toiles of several garments. As a sewing enthusiast, I loved this (albeit small) section and for me, the only disappointing aspect of this exhibition was that there wasn’t more on display to showcase the behind-the-scenes of haute couture. I wanted to see more toiles, more sketches, even close-ups of various hand-stitches.
But perhaps House of Dior figured that the general majority of viewers would only interested in the end product? Or perhaps they didn’t want to give away any secrets of how these works of art are made? After all, it is haute couture.
And now (apologies for the poor quality of this picture), the dress from Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection made famous by the Miss Dior fragrance advertisement starring Natalie Portman.
Whenever I see this dress, I can hear Portman’s words from the advert: “And you? What would you do for love?”
Well, I can tall you what I wouldn’t do.
I wouldn’t (unless it was under extreme circumstances – and I mean extreme extreme), dive into the ocean wearing a dress that I can only presume would cost thousands of dollars to buy.
But that’s just me.
Dior advert aside, I do love this dress. And at least this wasn’t the dress that was plunged into the depths of the ocean.
I don’t think that beading would have survived it.
If you’re in Australia, I would definitely recommend a visit to the NGV while the exhibition is still on. If you live interstate, the exhibition alone is worth a trip to Melbourne!
In the meantime, here’s a quote from the exhibition, some food for thought in a culture where active wear and converse sneakers seem to reign supreme:
Until next time!