The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture Exhibition

What a night the Dior Gala was! In celebration of the 70 years of Hause of Dior, The National Gallery of Victoria opened ” The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture” with a ball followed by the majestic exhibition with the narrative of the fashion power house.

The installation it’s like a dream for every fashion lover and connoisseur who can now feel transported in time whilst witnessing the legacy and iconic creations of the renowned house, from the signature “new look” designs first launched in 1947 to the latest interpretations infused with the loyal yet new vision of talented designers, such as Yves Saint Laurent from 1957-60, Marc Bohan 1960-89, Gianfrancp Ferré 1989-96, John Galliano 1996 – 2011, Raf Simons 2012-15 and Maria Grazia Chiuri since 2016.

We had a closer look to the emblematic designs that made headlines throughout past decades, as well as the more contemporary red carpet looks worn by A list celebs such as Nicole Kidman and Jeniffer Lawrence. But perhaps, THE NEW LOOK  segment stands out for marking an relevant episode in the modern history of fashion; Dior’s earliest and signature silhouette defined by small waist and a full skirt below mid calf length, and abundance of high fashion fabrics marked a new era in fashion, being considered a revolution and a revival agent for fashion industry back in the late 40’s, considering the post war moment lived in those days, becoming extremely popular and influencing many other fashion designers – then and now.

Nicole Kidman Dior Gala Melbourne
The event was graced by the presence of Nicole Kidman,  here standing next to the dress she wore at the Oscars 1997 – Photo Fiona Hamilton

The exhibition welcomes you with the iconic and emblematic  “Bar” suit, from his very first collection launched in 1947, when Dior presented his vision to reinvigorate the postwar French fashion industry and created a couture house whose reach and influence is still felt globally today.

House of Dior Australia

Dior incessantly explored the exuberant  forms of past eras, such as the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The new look, was modern for its time but indeed a reinterpretation of silhouettes once worn by Empress Eugenie and Marie Antoinette. With their extravagant use of fabric, evening dresses in the hands of Dior became monumental sculptures of textile which could require up to 70 metres of tulle.

Things to do Melbourne, house of Dior exhibition

The segment dedicated to John Galliano , takes us back to the 90’s – especially when looking at this lemon gown worn by Nicole Kidman for the Oscars in 1997.  Galliano was Creative Director of Dior for twenty nine seasons, dramatic and postmodern in his approach but technically brilliant, he showed he had much in common creatively with Christian Dior, and was able to connect with the House’s heritage showing a deep understanding of fashion history.


The Yves Saint Laurent segment 1957 -1960. After working as assistant for the house Yves Saint Laurent became the Creative Director of Dior, creating six couture collections for the house. His designs forged a new direction for the label, introducing a radical new youth driven perspective with rebellious edge, reflecting the energy of the early 60’s



The installation of The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture will be open at NGV International from 27 August to 7 Novembe 2017

Images – Sean Fennessy