Ten’s To See: ‘Dior: From Paris to the World’ at the Dallas Museum of Art
Dior’s gallery reign isn’t letting up anytime soon. On both sides of the Atlantic, masses have travelled from near and far to attend giant retrospectives on the esteemed Parisian house. Whilst Designer of Dreams is set to beat out Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty to become the most successful exhibition ever to be held at the V&A, Dior: From Paris to the World has arrived at its new home in Dallas, TX. After critical acclaim during its stay at the Denver Art Museum, the exhibition is making its debut in The Lone Star State.
With a fresh lick of paint and good polishing of the glass enclosures, the exhibition has been reinterpreted for its slot at the new location. The spellbinding space explores Dior’s rich Haute Couture history – from the birth of the New Look, travelling all the way through to Maria Grazia’s Cirque de Dior SS19 couture collection. With 200 pieces in total, expect to see the unique hand of each designer that has held the helm at the house over its 73-year history. From the crafted Parisian elegance carried through by Christian Dior’s successor, Yves Saint Laurent, to the sculptural gowns from the Gianfranco Ferré years – the exhibition is a pivotal history lesson for the premature Dior fanatics.
Fast-forwarding closer to the now, there’s plenty Galliano to see too. The high camp, high theatrics that engulfed his couture catwalks still demand verbal gasps as they did when they first debuted. On the mannequins, Galliano’s designs resemble the attire of a warrior – bold in colour, even sharper in cut, it’s a breathtaking experience seeing the work of the designer in the flesh. Further highlights come courtesy of the Sterling Ruby paintings, turned Raf Simons ball gowns, from the Belgian designer’s debut collection for the house. They sit next to Simons’ sleek interpretation of the Dior Bar jacket and the delicate floral work of the ateliers that still, to this day, have fashion Tumblr blogs in a flower frenzy. As well as the actual garments on display, the exhibition offers an intimate look into the craftsmanship that goes into creating a Dior haute couture collection. Never-before-seen footage, rare original sketches and achieved toile prototypes are on display to educate audiences on the intricate detailing that goes into couture.
Topping everything off is a space dedicated solely to Christian Dior’s relationship with Dallas. The designer’s 1954 H Line show was held in the city, immortalised here through a scrapbook of press clippings, photographs and sketches based on the cross-Atlantic seminal moment.
We know everything is bigger in Texas, it’s fitting then as Dior: From Paris to the World is an exhibition of massive proportions. It’s not one to be missed.
Dior: From Paris to the World is open at the Dallas Museum of Art from May 19 – September 1, 2019. Photographs by James Florio.
dior.com / dma.org