When you think of Dior, what comes to mind? Is it that picture of Princess Diana in Buenos Aires carrying the bag that would become the iconic Lady Dior? Rihanna’s announcement as its first Black spokesperson ever? Instagram royalty Chiara Ferragni’s wedding dress? J’adore?!
Whatever you associate with the name, there’s no denying the insane power held by the historic French fashion house. That power, though hard to believe, was nonexistent 72 years ago, when a struggling former art gallerist named Christian presented his first collection, only later becoming the most celebrated couturier of all time. And celebrated he is. A new exhibit chronicling the history of the House of Dior has just arrived in the United States, but before you start booking a plane ticket for New York City, think again. This time, Dior is headed to Denver.
That’s right, the Denver Art Museum will play host to the U.S. debut of Dior: From Paris to the World, an exhibition that surveys more than 70 years of the house’s legacy and global influence. It’s not technically the first time Dior has visited the States. The designer himself famously toured New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Chicago following an invitation to travel around the country after being presented with the Neiman Marcus award in 1947. It is, however, the first time that the exhibit Dior: From Paris to the World will alight on American soil, traveling from its current home at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
“This exhibition will encourage audiences to think differently about the boundaries of fashion as art and advance the museum’s commitment to taking viewers behind the scenes to reveal Dior’s imaginative and innovative endeavors,” states Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jane Mayer Director of the DAM.
On display will be 150 haute couture dresses, as well as accessories, photographs, original sketches, runway videos, and other archival material, tracing the history of the haute couture fashion house. Each of Monsieur Dior’s successors will also receive their due, among them Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri, among others.
“I think people will be amazed by the power of beauty and passion,” Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Fashion, Florence Müller remarks. “Visitors will discover how special the world of fashion and couture truly is [and] will get to understand the creative process and all that goes into it.”
While placing fashion objects within a museum setting has often been a subject of debate, Müller has an entirely different take: “Art and fashion are entirely different constructs, two entirely different and separate economic systems, but the human and creative process of art and fashion is something they both have in common.”
Dior: From Paris to the World is on view at the Denver Museum of Art through March 3, 2019.