An Evening of Couture
Let's visit the Christian Dior exhibition at the Protected content and appreciate the design elements of this creator. Entry is free on the first Thursday of each month, and feel free to take in all of the exhibits on display at the museum.
The Christian Dior fashions in this exhibition are beautiful. But beauty alone does not explain how he made “women feel like women again” after the Second World War, and why millions of women around the world were influenced by his designs. To answer these questions, I have drawn upon years of research in two unique resources: the unparalleled corporate fashion archive held by Christian Dior Héritage, Paris, and the Royal Ontario Museum’s remarkable collection of Christian Dior haute couture from Protected content 1957.
The ROM’s collection forms the basis of this exhibition, including 40 garments donated to the Museum by Toronto socialites. They are fragile records of the lives and aspirations of those who made, sold, and wore them. I have interviewed many of these women and men to capture their stories and the transformative power of fashion. It is through the marriage of these resources with archival research, that I trace histories of ingenuity and partnerships from Paris to Toronto. It is this complicated mix of the personal, the aesthetic, and the economic that makes fashion such an endlessly fascinating subject of research, and explains why a dress is so much more than just a pretty dress.
Alexandra Palmer, PhD
Nora E. Vaughan Senior Curator, Textiles & Costume, Royal Ontario Museum
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