2017 marks a significant milestone for The House of Dior, one of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses. To celebrate the occasion, the NGV and The House of Dior have teamed together to create a world premiere exhibition to celebrate seventy years of haute couture and I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek.
The exhibition, exclusive to Melbourne, features a stunning display of over 140 garments from The House of Dior, showcasing the finest in Parisian couture.
The idea for the anniversary exhibition was proposed in 2013, when the NGV approached The House of Dior in Paris. So began years of planning and preparation to present a stunning display of garments designed by Dior between 1947 and 2017.
Australia and The House of Dior have a remarkable history dating back to post war 1948 when David Jones and Dior collaborated to bring 50 couture garments to Australia, which at the time was its largest collection to ever be presented outside of Paris.
In true Dior style, grace, glamour, and artistry are the theme of the exhibition. Impeccably dressed mannequins adorn hats and headpieces created by British Milliner Stephen Jones, whilst the displays feature works from the seven House of Dior’s esteemed designers, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and most recently the House’s first-ever female artistic director, Maria Grazia Chiuri.
A display of an atelier’s workshop is a wonderful way to get a firsthand glimpse at the delicate sewing process and fine workmanship that goes into making each item, with each piece of couture taking hundreds of hours to make.
The design of the exhibition is elegant and artistic. A grand staircase, complete with breathtaking crystal chandelier, takes you to the upper level, which features one of my personal faves, a luxurious handpainted silk gown designed in 2004 by John Galliano.
The famous absinthe-coloured dress worn by Nicole Kidman at the 1997 Oscars is on show as is Miranda Kerr’s stunning wedding gown, inspired by style great Grace Kelly.
A revolving display showcases ballgowns and dresses that dreams are made of. Countless lengths of tulle in pretty pastels, luxurious velvet, ruby red satin, brocade, metallic thread and sequins make you feel like you are in a princess’s dressing room.
High tea and lunch packages as well as standard ticketing are available during the duration of the exhibition. On 1 September, NGV Friday Nights kick off, and will have an outstanding lineup of Australian and international musical artists, with ticket entry including after hours access to The House of Dior exhibition.
You will be taken on a magical journey through Dior’s rich history as you stroll amongst the exquisitely handcrafted couture creations.
Tennille M. is a fashion-loving, food-obsessed, adventure-seeking Melburnian, on a quest to find the hottest events throughout Victoria and beyond. You can find her at travellingsoulsister.