Hitting our shores in 2017, the National Gallery of Victoria show will celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the House of Dior, writes Noelle Faulkner
From the brilliant The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier show to the local retrospective, 200 years of Australian Fashion and the exhibition currently on show, Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists, when it comes to supporting the art of fashion, Melbourne's The National Gallery of Victoria has really been setting and then raising the bar. And after this morning's announcement, it has no plans to slow down just yet.
Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the House of Dior, the gallery has just announced plans to bring a world-premiere exhibition to our shores. The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture will arrive in August 2017 and look at seven decades of the French maison, from Christian Dior's humble beginnings, his legacy, influence and themes, all the way through to his successors, including Maria Grazia Chiuri, the current and first woman at the helm of the couture house.
"The bonds uniting us for the past seventy years run deep and strong," says Sidney Toledano, Christian Dior Couture's Chief Executive, of the house's Australian connection (which was actually very first place a complete collection was shown outside of Paris, believe it or not). "Starting in 1947, several designs from Christian Dior's first collection were shown in Australia, with two other major fashion shows later taking place in different cities." Toledano also points out that Dior famously named many of his designed after our land girt by sea. "Christian Dior, who gave each of his designs names, baptised some 'Melbourne' or 'Sydney', and we have lost count of the number of looks called 'Australie,'"
The NGV is the oldest museum in Australia, and arguably, the most fashion and textile-heavy (it currently houses close-to 8,500 fashion and textile works, in it's collection), so you can be certain that this show will not only be drawing from the maison's archive, but proudly putting the works acquired by the museum from 30 Avenue Montaigne on show. This will also include sketches, photographs, multimedia material and haute couture toiles (essentially the atelier's prototypes).
"The exhibition will invite Australian and international audiences to discover some of the most significant couture designs of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries," says Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV. "The exhibition will be a celebration of Dior's most landmark moments and designs, including the iconic 'New Look' silhouette, which revolutionised women's fashion in the 1950s, through to the present-day contemporary aesthetic." You can bet, judging from what we've seen presented by the musuem so far (the Viktor & Rolf doll runway, anyone?), that House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture promises to be much more than your run-of-the-mill fashion exhibition.
House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture runs August 25- November 7, 2017, ngv.vic.gov.au