The Denver Art Museum Proudly Presents Dior: From Paris to the World

Ellora , a coral taffeta dress embroidered with gold lace by artistic designer Gianfranco Ferré, is featured among global-inspired couture dresses standing on massive steps of shaped like petals in the Martin and McCormick Gallery.

Ellora, a coral taffeta dress embroidered with gold lace by artistic designer Gianfranco Ferré, is featured among global-inspired couture dresses standing on massive steps of shaped like petals in the Martin and McCormick Gallery.

By Claire Lardizabal

The highly anticipated fashion exhibit, Dior: From Paris to the World, will be open to the public on Monday, November 19 until March 17 at the Denver Art Museum.

After two years of meticulous curation, an A-team led by Dior expert Florence Müller, the museum’s Avenir Foundation curator of textile art and fashion, and renowned architect Shohei Shigematsu, an OMA New York director and partner, visually tells the story of the iconic French designer Christian Dior (1905-1957) and the playful path the House of Dior follows.

In 1947, Dior shocked the fashion world in more ways than one. After the devastation of World War II, Dior’s bright and colorful vision put Paris back into the international spotlight as fashion capital of the world. It was as if the end of the war allowed Dior to finally breathe and express himself freely. The result: a “New Look” of dresses that celebrated the female body (cinched waistlines, fuller pleated skirts, embellishments) and becoming a fashion pioneer by being the first to accessorize his creations with his own purses, gloves, and heels. “The world was his playground,” Müller says, as Dior was invited to India, Japan, and the Americas to design dresses for the wealthy and royal. Though Dior reigned for a short 10 years, his vision has inspired six more artistic designers to pay homage to the house he built.

The exhibit is chronologically set for the most part. At the beginning, as you pause to admire Dior’s rendition of the New Look over the past seventy years, you’ll notice the up-cycled mill aluminum backdrop, which Shigematsu says was to mimic the titanium juts of the art museum itself, but also feels like a nod to Denver’s own growing industrial feel. After checking out designs by Dior and his successor, a then-novice Yves-Saint Laurent, you’ll be stunned by “The Office of Dreams,” a wall full of suspended dress sketches made of white cotton muslin. Then take a tour of women who’ve sported Dior throughout the years (Marilyn Monroe, Rihanna, Charlize Theron, to name a few) and get a glimpse into Dior’s evolving line inspired by surrounding eras, culture, and art. There’s much to see at the Dior exhibit (18th century French-inspired dresses sure to impress Marie Antoinette herself, as well as a neatly stacked rainbow wall, chock full of bold statement accessories), so visit DenverArtMuseum.org to get in on this exclusive display of fashion history today.

To purchase tickets, click here.

The Office of Dreams—Toiles, or cotton muslin, were used as Christian Dior’s canvas in the initial design process.

The Office of Dreams—Toiles, or cotton muslin, were used as Christian Dior’s canvas in the initial design process.

Dior was a fan of 18th century French design and his beloved Granville garden home. Each designer display their interpretations by using 3-D flowers, pastel hues, and delicate fabrics

Dior was a fan of 18th century French design and his beloved Granville garden home. Each designer display their interpretations by using 3-D flowers, pastel hues, and delicate fabrics

Dior’s present and first female artistic designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri, brings  Féerie , a sheer woven horsehair cage atop a ribbon embroidered velvet skirt from the Spring-Summer 2018 collection

Dior’s present and first female artistic designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri, brings Féerie, a sheer woven horsehair cage atop a ribbon embroidered velvet skirt from the Spring-Summer 2018 collection

Dior’s third artistic designer, Marc Bohan, made this pop art floor-length chiffon evening dress for Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1967

Dior’s third artistic designer, Marc Bohan, made this pop art floor-length chiffon evening dress for Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1967