Cul­ture

In­side Aus­tralia’s big­gest Dior ret­ro­spec­tive, and this month’s must-sees

ELLE (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

Ball­go­wns and Bar jack­ets will de­scend on Mel­bourne this month for The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Cou­ture at the Na­tional Gallery of Vic­to­ria. Se­nior Cu­ra­tor of Fash­ion and Tex­tiles Katie Somerville takes us through the high­lights. Tell us about the re­la­tion­ship betw een Chris­tian Dior and Aus­tralia. In July 1947, four en­sem­bles from Dior’s de­but New Look col­lec­tion were shown in Syd­ney at David Jones de­part­ment store as part of their French Fash­ions For All pa­rade. A great deal of pub­lic­ity pre­ceded th­ese pa­rades and a film of the pa­rade re­hearsals was screened around the coun­try. The fol­low­ing year, David Jones’s buyer, Mrs Mary Alice Shiell, suc­cess­fully ne­go­ti­ated an ex­clu­sive deal that would see Dior present the firstever rep­re­sen­ta­tive col­lec­tion of orig­i­nal looks out­side of Paris. When Chris­tian Dior died un­ex­pect­edly in 1957, plans to bring a sec­ond ma­jor cou­ture pa­rade to Aus­tralia were al­ready in place. The event still went ahead and 83 out­fits from Dior’s A/W ’57 Fuseau line toured Aus­tralia. When Dior’s col­lec­tions were seen in Aus­tralia in 1948 and later in 1957 they caused a na­tion­wide sen­sa­tion. What sets this ex­hi­bi­tion apart? The Aus­tralian per­spec­tive on the Dior story is a lit­tle known and very rich area. It will en­able vis­i­tors to come to a deeper ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the global reach and im­pact of the house. Vis­i­tors will be able to view the in­ner work­ings and com­plex tech­niques that go into the cre­ation of a cou­ture gar­ment, brought to life with mul­ti­me­dia footage and demon­stra­tions from Dior’s ate­lier. What are the high­lights? The ac­com­plished early works of Chris­tian Dior: the tai­lored wool en­sem­bles of the late 1940s and daz­zling dresses of the early 1950s, along­side youth­ful sil­hou­ettes of Yves Saint Lau­rent’s Trapeze line col­lec­tion for S/S ’58. Then the com­pelling the­atre of John Gal­liano’s ball­go­wns; Raf Si­mons’ crisp rein­ter­pre­ta­tions of the New Look and the fairy­tale edge of Maria Grazia Chi­uri’s con­tem­po­rary take on cou­ture. ‘The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Cou­ture‘, Au­gust 27–Novem­ber 7, Na­tional Gallery of Vic­to­ria, Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia. ngv.vic.gov.au

Above: Bar Suit S/S ’47, pho­tographed by Willy May­wald (1955). Left: John Gal­liano for Chris­tian Dior S/S ’97, pho­tographed by Michael Thomp­son (1997)

Top: Maria Grazia Chi­uri for Chris­tian Dior S/S ’17. Above: Chris­tian Dior drap­ing fab­ric on model Sylvie. Pho­tographed by Bellini (1948)

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