An Inside Look At The Defining Years Of Christian Dior At The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Photos: Tiffany Shum

In celebration of the House of Dior’s 70th anniversary, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is presenting Christian Dior, an original ROM exhibition focusing on the early years of Christian Dior haute couture, 1947 to 1957. This stunning retrospective, on display from November 25, 2017 to March 18, 2018, explores the brilliance behind Christian Dior’s dramatic creations that revived the Paris fashion industry following the Second World War. Presented by Holt Renfrew, the exhibition draws from the ROM’s permanent collection of Textiles and Fashions and is augmented with loans of accessories. Christian Dior features more than 100 objects, including 38 designs from daytime and evening wear to grand occasions. Visitors will discover how and why the designer’s iconic lines, luxury textiles, and romantic embroideries laid the foundation for the House of Dior’s global success.

Josh Basseches, the ROM’s Director and CEO, says: “Few people have had as great an influence on shaping the modern aesthetic as Christian Dior. His standing among contemporary fashion designers remains central to this day. As the House of Dior celebrates its milestone anniversary, there is no better time for the ROM to share its extraordinary collection of Dior couture with audiences. This original exhibition, enriched with programming offerings, is a great example of the Museum’s ongoing commitment to addressing topics that engage our visitors and feel relevant to their lives.”

On view at the ROM’s Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume, this treasured collection is arranged thematically by Daytime (coats, suits, and day dresses), Late Afternoon to Evening (cocktails and dinner dresses), and Evening (ball and formal gowns). The pieces are contextualized with Dior accessories and perfumes, and augmented by contemporary film, sketches, fashion photographs, and advertisements. Many of the pieces were worn in Canada and donated by socialites of the period from Montreal and Toronto. In addition to the ROM’s own collection, the exhibition is enhanced by loans from Christian Dior Héritage; Paris and Maison Hurel, Paris; Musée d’Art et d’Industrie de Saint-Etienne; Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, and several other lenders.

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