Visitors to The Denver Museum in Colorado will be able to view 70 years of haute couture from the House of Dior from today (Tuesday 19 November 2018) until 3 March 2019. 'Dior: From Paris to the World' will survey more than 70 years of the House of Dior’s enduring legacy and its global influence. A selection of more than 200 haute couture dresses, as well as accessories, photographs, original sketches, runway videos and other archival material will trace the history of the iconic haute couture fashion house.
Dior: From Paris to the World will also profile its founder, Christian Dior, and subsequent artistic directors, including Yves-Saint Laurent (1958 - 1960), Marc Bohan (1961 - 1989), Gianfranco Ferré (1989 - 1996), John Galliano (1997 - 2011), Raf Simons (2012 - 2015) and Maria Grazia Chiuri (2016 - present day), who have carried Dior’s vision into the 21st century.
Dior: From Paris to the World will also highlight North and South American patrons’ vital role in helping establish the House of Dior’s global presence. Organised by the museum and curated by Florence Müller, the DAM’s Avenir Foundation curator of Textile Art and Fashion, the exhibition has been designed by Shohei Shigematsu, OMA partner and director of the global firm’s New York office. The more than 70-year Dior retrospective will offer a new vision on the fashion house’s legacy following the 2017 to 2018 Paris exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
'Dior: From Paris to the World will give our visitors insight into the House of Dior’s creative process and inspirations that contributed to its unparalleled impact on the fashion world, which continues to reverberate today,' says Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer, directors of the DAM. 'This exhibition will encourage audiences to think differently about the boundaries of fashion as art, and advance the museum’s commitment to taking viewers behind the scenes to reveal Dior’s imaginative and innovative endeavors.'
The museum will mount this major exhibition with loans from the esteemed Dior Héritage Collection, many of which have rarely been seen outside of Europe, with additional loans from major institutions. The chronological presentation, showcasing pivotal themes in the House of Dior’s global history, will focus on how Christian Dior cemented his fashion house’s reputation within a decade and established the house on five continents – Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Dior: From Paris to the World will also highlight how his successors adeptly incorporated their own design aesthetic.
'Artistic interpretation has always been a key factor to the House of Dior’s success in creating a global legacy for the French haute couture house,' says curator Müller. 'Each one of the artistic directors has accomplished this during their tenure and through their visions. Visitors will witness this through thematic exhibition sections, and will also begin to understand how the Americas contributed to the success of the house over a seven decade period.'
Visitors will also be able to see the exquisite technique of the Dior atelier in a dramatic visual display presenting a glimpse into this secret world, including sketches, toiles, dress patterns and the intricate process of embroidery. The atelier represents the heart of the house where seamstresses work with Dior’s creative directors to collaboratively bring couture to life as art, with the goal of making women more beautiful and therefore happier – which was Christian Dior’s ultimate dream as a couturier.
Internationally renowned architect Shohei Shigematsu, also known for his work designing the critically acclaimed 2015 Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has overseen the exhibition design, building off of the bold architecture of the Frederic C. Hamilton Building to showcase the House of Dior’s innovative haute couture.
Photography - James Florio