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Inside the ateliers of the House of Dior, 2012 © Pol Baril.

MELBOURNE.- In celebration of the seventieth anniversary of the House of Dior, one of the most prestigious couture houses in the world, the National Gallery of Victoria will present the never-before-seen exhibition The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture at NGV International from 27 August to 7 November, 2017.  

Exclusive to Melbourne, the exhibition is a collaboration between the NGV and the House of Dior and will feature a sumptuous display of over 140 garments from Christian Dior Couture designed 1947 to 2017.  

Highlights include examples from Christian Dior’s iconic Spring 1947 ‘New Look’ collection, magnificent displays of Dior’s signature ballgowns and evening dresses, as well as current contemporary designs from the House’s first female head designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri. 

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Christian Dior, Paris (fashion house), John Galliano (designer), Red silk and wool dress, spring−summer 2009 haute couture collection. Photo © Laziz Hamani

Drawing primarily on material from the House of Dior archive in Paris and the NGV Collection, the exhibition will also feature accessories, sketches, photographs, haute couture toiles, multimedia and archival material. 

The exhibition will narrate the rich history of the fashion house, including Christian Dior’s early influences, the design codes synonymous with Dior, as well as the milestones of its six successive designers following Christian Dior’s sudden death in 1957, including the esteemed designers Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria-Grazia Chiuri.  

The exhibition will also explore Dior’s unique affinity with Australia, including the historic Spring 1948 fashion parade at David Jones, Sydney, where House models wore fifty original creations by Christian Dior. This is considered the first complete Dior collection to be shown outside of Paris.  

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Christian Dior, Paris (fashion house), Raf Simons (designer), autumn−winter 2012 haute couture collection. Photo © Patrick Demarchelier/Licensed by Art+Commerce

The exhibition will invite Australian and international audiences to discover some of the most significant couture designs of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The exhibition will be a celebration of Dior’s most landmark moments and designs, including their iconic ‘New Look’ silhouette, which revolutionised women’s fashion in the 1950s, through to the present-day contemporary aesthetic. We are also delighted that 68 years after the historic Dior fashion parade at its Sydney Store, David Jones is once again helping Australia celebrate the House of Dior, as the exhibition’s Princiapal Partner,’ said Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV.  

It is a great pleasure and honour for the House of Dior to be celebrating its anniversary in 2017 in Melbourne. This exhibition will be the biggest Dior retrospective ever held in Australia. It will cover seventy years of creation, presenting the emblematic work of Christian Dior and his successors, including Maria Grazia Chiuri, who arrived last July and is the first woman at the head of the couture house,’ said Sidney Toledano, Chief Executive, Christian Dior Couture.  

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Christian Dior, Paris (fashion house), Yves Saint Laurent (designer), Climène dress, autumn−winter 1959 haute couture collection. Photo © Laziz Hamani

‘2017 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year for the NGV and for art, design and fashion lovers. The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture will be a stylish addition to our unparalleled creative calendar. This exciting collaboration with one of the world’s great fashion houses is a testament to the NGV’s global standing, the strength of its fashion collection and expertise and its role in our creative state,’ said Martin Foley, Minister for Creative Industries. 

The exhibition opening will be celebrated with the inaugural NGV Gala, a ticketed, black-tie ball on Saturday 26 August 2017. The proceeds from this event will go toward supporting the NGV Fashion and Textiles Collection.

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Christian Dior, Paris (fashion house), John Galliano (designer), autumn−winter 2010 haute couture collectionPhoto © Guy Marineau

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Christian Dior, Paris (fashion house), John Galliano (designer), autumn−winter 2010 haute couture collection. Photo © Guy Marineau