Dallas Museum of Art presents House of Dior retrospective

Christian Dior draping fabric over model Sylvie in 1948. Image courtesy DMA.

DALLAS – The Dallas Museum of Art will present “Dior: From Paris to the World,” which surveys more than 70 years of the House of Dior’s legacy and global influence, after its enormously successful debut at the Denver Art Museum. Opening in Dallas on Sunday, May 19, the exhibition will now feature a selection of 30 new looks from Dior, including vintage couture by Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, and updated works from Maria Grazia Chiuri, which will be seen for the first time in the Dallas presentation.

The Dallas Museum of Art is the only other U.S. venue for this extensive and highly anticipated retrospective of the celebrated haute couture house, described by the Wall Street Journal as “an epic enterprise … timelessly elegant yet avant-garde.” The exhibition in Dallas is presented by PNC with leadership support provided by Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers.

“Dior: From Paris to the World” will feature a selection of almost 200 haute couture dresses, as well as accessories, photographs, original sketches, runway videos and other archival material, and trace the history of the iconic haute couture fashion house. “Dior: From Paris to the World” also will 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), who have carried Dior’s vision into the 21st century.

Spanning more than seven decades, this retrospective will offer a new perspective on the fashion house’s legacy following the Paris exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri. Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2017. Image courtesy DMA

“The House of Dior has been a legendary force in fashion and visual culture for decades and continues to be an important influence that blurs the lines between fashion and art,” said Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott director. “Dallas has long recognized the artistic significance of Dior, most notably when in 1947, early in his career, Christian Dior traveled here to receive the Neiman Marcus Award for distinguished service in the field of fashion. We are excited to welcome this innovative creative voice back to our city and to offer DMA audiences the opportunity to be inspired by the remarkable legacy of a global icon.”

Christian Dior generated a revolution in Paris and around the globe after World War II in 1947 with his New Look collection. Dior, the art gallerist who became a celebrated couturier, completely shed the masculine silhouette that had been established during the war, expressing modern femininity with his debut collection. Dior’s sophisticated designs, featuring soft shoulders, accentuated busts, nipped waists, and dancing corolla shaped skirts, were inspired by his passion for flowers. The result was elegant feminine contours that brought a breath of fresh air to the fashion world through luxurious swaths of fabrics, revolutionary design and lavish embroidery. This marked the beginning of an epic movement in fashion history that would eventually lead to Dior successfully becoming the first worldwide couture house.

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 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 worldwide – as well as highlight how his successors adeptly incorporated their own design aesthetic.

Maria Grazia Chiuri for Christian Dior. Image courtesy DMA

Visitors also will be able to capture the unique technique of the Dior ateliers in a dramatic visual display presenting a glimpse into this secret world, including sketches, toiles, 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.

Tickets for “Dior: From Paris to the World” can be purchased in advance at DMA.org. Due to the popularity of the exhibition and the high number of expected visitors, all visitors and DMA Members must have a timed ticket. The Tuesday–Thursday weekday ticket price for adults is $20 and tickets for Friday–Sunday are $25.

On Sunday, June 2, entry to the exhibition will be FREE for visitors under age 18 and students with a valid school ID for Neiman Marcus Youth and Student Days. Timed tickets will be available on a first-come, first served basis. An adult with a paid ticket must accompany youth and students under age 16. Youth and students entering the exhibition without an adult will be required to present an ID card with age verification to receive free tickets. A second Neiman Marcus Youth and Student Day will occur before the exhibition closes.